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by (author) Karen Spafford-Fitz

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Jan 2021
English Language Arts, Social Justice
Grade Levels
10 to 12
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2021
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jan 2021
    List Price

Where to buy it

Descriptive Review

Following the death of his younger sister, 17-year-old Jean-Luc begins acting out and hanging out with the wrong crowd. An unplanned house party leaves the family home in shambles and his parents desperate for a solution. Jean-Luc is sent to France to work for his uncle at his socca shop to earn money to pay for the damages. Soon after arriving, Jean-Luc meets Selina, but his thoughts of potential romance change when he realizes his wallet is missing. Eventually, Jean-Luc locates Selina and learns she and other runaway teenagers are being exploited by a mysterious man known only as Le Patron. Despite the danger, Jean-Luc plans to help Selina regain her life. Themes of social and family issues, empathy, friendship, and redemption are explored through the text. Serious classroom discussions can include the harsh reality of the pickpocket trade, youth street crimes, extortion, and exploitation.

128 pp., 5 × 7.5"

Source: Association of Book Publishers of BC - BC Books for Schools (2021-2022)

About the author

Karen Spafford-Fitz grew up in an old limestone farmhouse near Kingston, Ontario where her early training as a writer involved reading thousands of books. In fact, it was impossible to walk across her bedroom without stubbing a toe on Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairie, Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden, and her father's old Lone Ranger books.

Eager to read more, Karen studied English Language and Literature at Queen's University. She followed that up with a degree in Education and went on to teach elementary and junior high students for eight years. Two daughters and a move across the country later, Karen began creating her own stories for children and teenagers. Dog Walker is her first middle-grade novel.

When Karen is not writing in her Edmonton studio, she is often running with her rambunctious German shepherd, who helps Karen train for her next half marathon. Karen also enjoys speaking to students about the inspiration for her stories, the creative process and the writing life.

Karen Spafford-Fitz's profile page


  • Commended, BC Books for BC Schools

Editorial Reviews

“An accessible, engaging tale of redemption.”

Kirkus Reviews

“An engaging story that combines adventure, action, and an interesting destination. Highly Recommended.”

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

“This accessible, fast-moving story features a unique setting and a moving story of personal redemption. Recommended for high school collections in need of hi-lo materials.”

School Library Journal