by Katherine Lawrence
  • english-from-canada
  • family-and-friendship
  • fiction
  • from-the-prairies
Millie is eleven and enjoys doing what kids usually like to do: riding her bike and dreaming of the day she can convince her family to get a dog. She also writes in her diary daily. But not to herself: she writes to her twin brother Billy, who died before he was born. Alright, so it’s not totally normal, but it’s manageable. Millie’s life as she knows it comes to a screeching halt when her parents decide to separate. Her mother gets a new boyfriend, and her father moves into a new place with a big sign on the door that says NO DOGS ALLOWED. As she struggles to get her parents back together, Millie is elated when her father finally moves back in. She can’t understand why her parents aren’t happy until she learns the truth: her father has moved back in because he has been diagnosed with cancer. Stay is a moving portrait of a family in a time of crisis, whose pain is filtered through the thoughts and actions of an eleven-year-old girl, capturing the essence of what it means to grow up, support your family, and share in the wild optimism that only youth can harbour.


Katherine Lawrence, author

Katherine Lawrence is a writer whose award-winning poetry includes Never Mind (Turnstone Books), Lying to Our Mothers (Coteau Books), and Ring Finger, Left Hand (Coteau Books). Her work has been honoured by awards such as Best First Book, Saskatchewan Book Awards; the City of Regina Writing Award, and the John V. Hicks Long Manuscript Award. Her poems have been anthologized in The Best Canadian Poetry in English, 2010 and in Nelson English Grade 10 Academic Edition and Elements of English 12 by Harcourt Canada. Katherine also writes stage plays, coaches emerging writers, facilitates teen writing workshops, and chairs Access Copyright Foundation. She lives in Saskatoon and is originally from Hamilton, Ontario.


  • Though the plot of "Stay" is relatively straightforward, Katherine Lawrence’s writing is not. Lawrence is an accomplished author with several books of poetry for adults to her name; here she pens a novel for young readers so profound and complex in its voice and subtle in its story that multiple readings are necessary to appreciate all the nuances. Lawrence gives Millie the freedom to obsess about a dog, talk to her dead brother (and play soccer against his headstone), read her mother’s private texts, and be a good friend, while still mourning her situation and looking to reconstruct her family. Stay might be a quick read, but it’s a book that should be savoured. - Quill & Quire Link to review

Rights Holder

Rights Holder: Coteau Books



rights available: World

Additional Information

age range: 13 and up

number of pages: 128

publication date: 04/15/2017

Original language of pub: English

Materials Available: finished book