Her first juvenile novel Thunder Ice (Coteau, 1996) was followed by Half-Pipe Kid (Coteau, 1997) about boys who enjoy freestyle biking. One of them wins a poetry contest, alienating one friend and impressing another. Her third book, Learning to Live Indoors (Porcupine's Quill $14.95), is a collection of adult stories about 'everything from marriage to toothbrushes'.

A finalist for the Canadian Library Association's Young Adult Book of the Year award, Mud Girl (Coteau, 2006) is the story of Abi Jones, a lonely teenager who lives with her father in an strange little house by the Fraser River. Living without cool clothes or a mother, Abi's odd dwelling earns her the name "Mud Girl." Things begin to look up during the summer before her last year of high school when a woman Abi calls Ernestine becomes her Big Sister and she meets Jude, a cute guy from the paint shop.

Molly's Cue (Coteau, 2010) is about Molly Gumley, a high-school student pursuing her life dream to be an actor. Reality threatens to destroy the dream when Molly discovers her grandmother's theatre background was not what she thought.

When their favourite hockey playing goalkeeper pal moves out of the neighborhood, three kids are disappointed when a man without any children moves into their friend's former house in Alison Acheson's The Cul-de-sac Kids (Tradewind $8.95), illustrated by Elisa Gutierrez. When Mr. McNeil announces he will soon have two new step-children, Daisy and Henry, the three kids in the cul-de-sac street hockey gang, Kezie, Patrick and Jed, are skeptical about his abilities to be a suitable father. Before the wedding, the "cul-de-sac kids" put Mr. McNeil through the paces of Dad School, hoping to make him less clueless about kids, but Mr. McNeil gets an F in all the subjects such as playing goalie, or ordering pizza, or putting up a tent. When the new girl in the neighborhood, Daisy, finds the report card, Kezie hastily explains that all those Fs accorded to Mr. McNeil actually stand for Fine. And it's true, everything will be fine--in a neighborhood of tolerance and respect.

In 2019, Acheson wrote a memoir about caring for her husband as he was dying from ALS, Dance Me to the End: Ten Months and Ten Days with ALS (Brindle & Glass, $22). From publicity for the book: "Alison chronicled the difficult realities of care-giving for her spouse while processing her experiences with grief and joy and anger and laughter and intimacy. The starkness of caring for a loved one wrestling with a neurological, degenerative, terminal disease in contrast to the sustaining guidance, shifting roles, and enduring love of family, friends, and community characterizes the mesmerizing and nuanced chords of Dance Me to the End."

Acheson received an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC, lives in Vancouver and has taught at UBC. She was born in Tsawwassen.


Thunder Ice (Coteau, 1996)
Half-Pipe Kid (Coteau, 1997)
Learning to Live Indoors (Porcupine's Quill $14.95)
Mud Girl (Coteau, 2006)
Molly's Cue (Coteau, 2010) $12.95 978-1-55050-430-0
The Cul-de-sac Kids (Tradewind 2012). $8.95 978-1896580-999. Illustrated by Elisa Gutierrez.
Dance Me to the End: Ten Months and Ten Days with ALS (Brindle & Glass, 2019)
$22 978-1927366868

[BCBW 2019]