Margaret McMaster Releases: Carried Away on Licorice Days: a Children’s Book That Older Adults Will Love

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When Margaret J. McMaster published her first novel for youngsters in 2008, she was surprised, and very gratified, to learn that older adults were numbered among her most avid readers.

The novel was entitled Carried Away on Licorice Days and tells the charming tale of young Owen who, during harvest season, needs to leave his family and take up temporary residence with his wonderful, quirky Grandma Beatrice at her small homestead farm.

Owen’s parents, Gwen and Mark, have recently given birth to their second child – Owen’s brand new sister Sophie – and the infant has a severe case of colic that keeps Mom and Dad up all night caring for her. In short, Owen’s Mom and Dad are exhausted – and they need Grandma Beatrice to look after Owen until Sophie gets better.

Owen isn’t expecting much but he loves his Grandma and her farm; and he carries with him warm and loving memories of his Grandpa and the great times they had together until his Grandpa passed away. The farm is inhabited by Mildred, the three-legged dog who hogs Owen’s sleeping space; Lucky, the blind goat; and Spitfire, the feisty pony always looking to get his way. There are eggs to collect, and fishing, and Halloween pumpkins to carve - lots to do at Grandma’s farm.

And then, there’s Grandma’s incredible lottery win to take into account. What a stir that causes in the household! A new car? An ocean cruise? Repairs to the farmhouse? Well, we can’t give away the surprising ending to Carried Away on Licorice Days, but we can certainly say that if older adults enjoyed the original version of the book, they’ll enjoy this re-released version even more because it’s been published in large print, the perfect solution for readers with vision difficulties.

Here’s how author McMaster describes her decision to publish Carried Away in large, easy-to-read print: “Recently, I read an article describing how seniors enjoy reading juvenile novels because generally the books have more wholesome plot lines and are easier to follow. Immediately, I thought of Carried Away on Licorice Days!”

Carried Away on Licorice Days is a lovely book – and, yes, older adults will absolutely love it. The writing is crisp, delicate, and clear, and the characters – human and animal – are very well defined. The story itself is charming and gratifying and it’s the kind of book that will leave you with a smile on your face and genuine warmth in your heart.


Licorice Days was nominated for the Canadian Library Association’s Book of the Year for Children award in 2009 and two regional children’s book awards in 2010 and 2011. The author is a past contributor to the Canadian Children’s Annual and her non-fiction work, After All These Years, was shortlisted for the 2006 CBC Literary Award. Author McMaster is also the author of the highly regarded, five-part Babysitter Out of Control! series of early chapter books.

Carried Away on Licorice Days (large print)
by Margaret J. McMaster
ISBN: 9780981052564

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