I’m looking for a book I read a few years ago. It featured a family with a single mother and three or so children who run away due to financial issues I think. The eldest of the children takes them to a hollow tree in the park and they scab off leftovers from a cafe nearby. At the end of the book she receives a new sketch pad from her mother when they return home. I cannot remember the name and that’s about everything else I can remember.

  • 1
    Hi and welcome to Literature SE. Please take a look at the tag wiki for identification-request and edit your question to add more details following the guidance there. E.g., how long ago is "a few years"? Where did you read the book? Do you remember anything about the cover? What language was the book in? That will make it easier for someone to identify the book. Thanks!
    – verbose
    Mar 30, 2021 at 6:15
  • My first thought is Homecoming, by Cynthia Voigt, but it doesn't really match up with the details you have given. There are 4 children who are abandoned by their solo mother, and they do sleep rough but not in a hollow tree. Also they don't go home to their mother, but find a home with their grandmother.
    – NiceOrc
    Mar 31, 2021 at 1:34

1 Answer 1


I think I’ve found this. ‘Lily Alone’ by Jacqueline Wilson.

Pulling quotes about the book from various sources:


Lily, Bliss, Baxter and Pixie run away to the park and camp out in a hollow tree which Bliss found.

Also, both from Wikipedia:

They feed themselves by stealing leftover food from a nearby cafe.


The story ends, sadly, with Lily drawing a picture of the Green family and writing at the bottom: "We're all going to be together very, very soon."

  • Tentative upvote, assuming the "receives a new sketch pad from her mother when they return home" detail is misremembered (I haven't read the book, but the description suggests her mother's situation at the end of the story is very different).
    – Rand al'Thor
    Apr 25, 2021 at 18:37
  • @Randal'Thor The story seems to end with the children split up in care, there is a sequel which I hope has a happier ending. I’m not really expecting our querent to reappear to confirm or otherwise.
    – Spagirl
    Apr 25, 2021 at 20:27

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