Safe as Houses

Safe as Houses

A Novel

Book - 2009
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The date is October 15, 1954. Thirteen-year-old Elizabeth, who lives in the Toronto suburb of Weston, is a typical grade 8 girl. She has a secret crush on a boy in her class and she thinks Elvis Presley is "dreamy." Elizabeth also has a part-time job babysitting an adorable little grade 2 girl named Suzie, and Suzie's not-so-adorable grade 6 brother, David. Elizabeth's job is to walk Suzie and David home after school and then stay at their house with them until their mother gets home from work. David resents Elizabeth because he thinks he is too old for a babysitter, and he goes out of his way to make life miserable for her.

On this particular evening, however, Elizabeth has more than a badly behaved boy to contend with. It is on this October night that Hurricane Hazel roars down on Toronto, bringing torrential rains that cause extensive flooding. David and Suzie's house is on Raymore Drive, a street that will be practically wiped out by the floodwaters.

David and Suzie's parents are unable to reach the house, which means the children's safety on this most deadly of nights is Elizabeth's responsibility. She finds herself increasingly isolated. They are surrounded by rising water. The electricity goes out. The phone goes dead. Still, Elizabeth is sure they will be safe as long as they remain in the house.

But are Elizabeth and the children really as "safe as houses"? Before this terrifying night is over, Elizabeth and David will have to learn to communicate and cooperate if they are to save their own lives and Suzie's. Their survival in the midst of one of Canada's worst disasters will depend upon their resourcefulness, maturity and courage.

From the Trade Paperback edition.
Publisher: Toronto : Seal Books, 2009, c2007
ISBN: 9781400025299
Branch Call Number: J Pbk WAL


From the critics

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Jul 21, 2018

This was a pretty good book. It had you sitting on the edge of your chair at every page. The middle was very nerve-wracking, and you hope that the characters don't die! The ending wasn't exactly the best way to end it; it was very abrupt. Otherwise, it was a good book.

Jul 13, 2018

On October 15, 1954, a powerful hurricane hit North America and parts of the Caribbean. It was very deadly and over four hundred people were affected by the storm. Eric Walters tells the story of two children and their babysitter home alone during the hurricane. Everyday thirteen-year-old Lizzie Hardy walks David McBride and his sister, Suzie McBride home from school. On the walk home, it starts raining and it becomes very windy when they arrive home the power goes out and soon enough the cold water starts rising fast. Safe as Houses is an amazing book! It was very detailed and it made you feel like you were there, experiencing Hurricane Hazel. If you want a great book that is filled with adventure, make sure that you read Safe as Houses by Eric Walters. Will Lizzie and the children escape their house before it’s too late? Find out by reading Safe as Houses by Eric Walters. Rating- 5/5 stars
- @readit12 of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

ReadingAdviser_Lori Mar 07, 2018

This is a suspenseful tale about a hurricane that struck Toronto in 1954. Eric Walters is one of my favourite children's authors.

Mar 22, 2017

Nice book about three resourceful kids working together to survive.

Sophiasajid Oct 25, 2013

best book ever

Feb 06, 2013

I agree with everyone. I love this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oct 03, 2012

Great little story. I especially loved the historical notes at the end that gives credence to the story.

Jun 22, 2012

amazing! i just couldn't stop reading it!!!!!!!!!

hungergameslover007 Feb 23, 2012

i just started to read this book, livelovelaughpeace can you tell some information about this book even though it is a couple years ago red maple book? please reply soon!!!thank you

livelovelaughpeace Feb 22, 2012

A thrilling story. If you love action novels you'll love this book.

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Age Suitability

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Yasou_no_Hanabi Apr 07, 2011

Yasou_no_Hanabi thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Mar 26, 2011

cristinaderrick98 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 18

Fatima Almalki
Sep 03, 2010

Fatima Almalki thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over


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Mar 26, 2011

When thirteen year old, Lizzie Hardy, is walking home the McBrides children: Suzie and David, it starts poring rain. Now Lizzie thought this was nothing but after the house begins to flood and she loses control everything goes wrong from there.

anoudconda Mar 31, 2009

she tells about how this girl survives thorugh a flood with 2 other babysitting kids


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ta12345 Mar 29, 2014

safe as houses(Adjective)

Very secure

Origin: Originally from the concept that houses were a shelter from the elements; later from the concept that investment in property is more secure compared to other more risky ventures.

anoudconda Apr 01, 2009

Safe as Houses


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Mar 26, 2011

Coarse Language: Shut up

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