Spit Delaney's Island

The Invention
of the World

The Resurrection of Joseph Bourne

The Barclay Family Theatre

The Honorary Patron

Left Behind in
Squabble Bay

Innocent Cities

Over Forty in
Broken Hill

A Passion for Narrative

The Macken Charm

Broken Ground


Damage Done
by the Storm

The Master of Happy Endings

Other Publications

Cadillac Cathedral

Canadian Children's Novel  


Left Behind in Squabble Bay
Novel (1988)
Jack Hodgins

The little west coast town of Squabble Bay was the last place Alex McGuire would have chosen when abandoned by his adventuring father. Yet this long-legged, skinny worrywart from Back East has little choice but to stay in this gloomy world amongst neighbours who have forgotten how to laugh. When Alex, a budding comic book artist, expresses his secret feelings in a cartoon which reflects the grumpy faces of his new neighbours, the town turns against him and the only ones who come to his rescue are the outcasts: Frantic Freda, who cooks up seaweed fertilizer on her sunken warship; the Duchess-in-exile, who escaped from the Duke in a truckload of turnips; and the Top Banana, stuck to the red paint in his bathtub as his house floats out to sea. Amid this odd assortment of friends, Alex cannot stop the questions from coming: …What if? What if? What if? Would it really be possible for a boy like Alex to turn all those "what it's" into something which could make all those grumps and grouches in town forget how angry they are about his infamous cartoon? Nature and a community party give him the opportunity to find out.

(from the dust jacket flap of the McClelland & Stewart hardcover edition)


"The text is beautifully complemented by the illustrations of Victor Gad. He captures the essence of the gawky, timid Alex, the wild-haired Frantic Freda and the Top Banana, the other misfit who had been sent out of town for being different.

"Left Behind in Squabble Bay is a book that I would recommend quite highly. I hope to see more children's books by this author."

Lynne McAvoy
CM Archive


Copyright © Jack Hodgins 2006