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The Saltbox Sweater

TitleThe Saltbox Sweater
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsMcNaughton, Janet Elizabeth
PublisherTuckamore Books
CitySt. John's, Nfld
ISBN Number1894294351
DescriptorsChapter Book; Community; Crafts; English Language; Fish; Fishery; Fishing; Fishing Community; Moving; Newfoundland and Labrador

This illustrated chapter book, published in Newfoundland, tells the story of a Newfoundland fishing community that is slowly disappearing after the closure of the local fish plant. Katie and her grandmother are determined not to abandon their home. With the help of the entire community Katie's mother is able to establish a knitting business that supports them and allows them to continue to live in the town. Janet McNaughton lives in St. John's, Newfoundland.


Newfoundland and Labrador

Age Range


Author Profile: 

Ever since the fish plant closed, life on Quinter Cove has changed, and Katie’s life is no exception. When the plant closed, Katie’s mother lost her job, and money keeps getting tighter. Katie’s uncle, along with a lot of other people from Quinter Cove, have decided to move out West to try and make a living. Before leaving, Katie’s uncle decides it is time to tear down the family’s Saltbox house because they are unable to maintain it. Katie’s Nanny, who lived in the house for most of her life, is suddenly homeless, and so, Katie and her mother invite Nanny to come live with them. Katie continues to notice other effects of the fish plant’s closure when her mother loses her job at the local supermarket. The local store cannot compete with the large superstore in the next town over, and Katie begins to worry about where their food will come from. To top it off, the threat of the school closing is looming over the town. Katie’s Nanny decides everyone needs some cheering up, and gathers together some townspeople and school children to put on a Christmas concert. Everyone is working really hard to keep the town alive, including Katie’s mother who has taken up knitting. Are these new projects enough to save the town of Quinter Cove? The Saltbox Sweater is an easy reader chapter book, and is a realistic fiction set in an Atlantic Canadian fishing community.


"School started back and Katie’s Mom still had no job. There just weren’t any. Now, she stayed home all the time. This had never happened before. Would they have enough to eat this winter? Katie worried, but she didn’t like to ask." (21)

"A wet snow was falling when Katie and her grandmother walked down the hill to the community centre for the first rehearsal a week later. It was only four o’clock but it was almost dark. They passed the empty pasture where the goats had played all summer. They were gone to the dairy farm now.
It made Katie shiver to think of the long winter ahead. The darkness deepened. When they reached the community hall, Katie looked back up the hill. Some house already had their Christmas lights on. They reflected on the water like coloured stars in a deep, black sky. Somehow, they made Katie feel warm again." (41)