The Gnome's Eye

The Gnome's Eye is the story of 10-year-old Theresa Becker whose family moves from an Austrian D.P. camp to come to Canada. Although life in the camp isn't ideal, it's the only home Theresa has ever known and she is not happy to leave behind the people she knows and cares for.

Her friend, Martin, gives her a 'gnome's eye' for courage.

"It will protect you from all things evil, alive or dead," he promises..

Theresa doesn't believe him. She knows he has handed her a river stone, but she takes it and slips it into her pocket where it stays for the journey across the North Atlantic, and later, when they move into a rooming house on Toronto's Kensington Avenue.

Magic or not, the stone helps her through a difficult voyage, the challenges of a new home, a new school, a new language and new friends. Slowly but surely she gathers the strength she needs to face new problems on her own.



2011 Hackmatack Children's Choice Award nominee

2011 CCBC Best Books

2011 Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Books of the Year -

2010 PSLA Top Forty


"This is a touching story of immigration through the eyes of a young girl. It also illustrates the effects war has on families displaced from their original homeland, losing most of their possessions in the process. Adding interest are historical reflections on events that took place in Toronto during a time when many new immigrants were settling in the area. Marilyn Bell's incredible swim and ultimate courage as she conquers Lake Ontario demonstrated the necessity for hard work and perseverance. Hurricane Hazel that devastated large areas of the city seemed to symbolize the hardships many people faced. Though the story is fictional, the author is reflecting on her own emigrating experiences in the early 1950's. This topic should stimulate lively classroom discussion and perhaps promote other family stories."

Carolyn Cutt - papertigers


   Booklist - May 15, 2010

"[A] lively, detailed novel...The immigration drama will hold readers."

  CM Magazine - April 9, 2010

"A realistic novel that shows the trauma of adjustment to a new culture. The Gnome's Eye also contains mythical, magical elements that give it an added dimension...Highly recommended."

  Quill & Quire - June 1, 2010

"Kerz provides a fresh take on...immigrant motifs in a well-shaped plot...Kerz does a particularly nice job of indicating that the characters are not speaking English."

  School Library Journal - August 1, 2010

"This immigration story...presents itself through a strong first-person voice deft in creating an empathetic and engaging response in middle grade readers. Both laughter and genuine concern will be evident through Theresa's imaginative storytelling and descriptive narrative."

  January Magazine - August 25, 2010

"A charming fish out of water story with sharply imaginative elements that children nine to 12 will enjoy."

  Canadian Children's Book News - July 1, 2010

"Sensitively written...Highly recommend[ed]."

  Library Media Connection - November 1, 2010

"A believable first-person narrative told through the eyes of an impressionable, imaginative child...This family interests the reader, and learning about a different time and place is intriguing. Recommended."

  Resource Links - June 1, 2010

"A touching story of immigration through the eyes of a young girl...Sensitive and fast-paced, this well-written novel will capture the reader's interest on many levels."

  Puget Sound Council - October 1, 2010

"An excellent book for anyone interested in the struggles of an immigrant."