Summary - At school, Pearl feels as though she is in a group of one. Her teacher wants her to write poems that rhyme but Pearl’s poems don’t. At home, however, Pearl feels safe and loved, but her grandmother is slowly fading, and so are Mum and Pearl. When her grandmother eventually passes away, Pearl wants life to go back to the way it was and refuses to talk at the funeral. But she finds the courage to deliver a poem for her grandmother that defies her teacher’s idea of poetry – her poem doesn’t rhyme; it comes from the heart.
Review - Pearl verses the World is a free verse, illustrated book by Sally Murphy and Heather Potter. The pitch describes it as a "...poignant story" and I would have to agree. Within the small volume, Pearl is dealing with her grandma's deteriorating health, bullying and a teacher's obliviousness to creativity in different forms.
There are many times while reading that I found myself noting a line or two. Instead of rabbiting on and on, I thought I would share some of them:
"My class is made up
I am in a group of one."
To steal Prudence Jones's boyfriend.
I did not even know
That she had a boyfriend I could steal."
"Big titles...make big promises".
As you can see the language is simple as to allow the focus to remaining solely on the thoughts of Pearl and her feelings. As a result you are completely involved in Pearl's state of mind. You will feel touched by the conclusion of this book.
If I had one criticism it would be at times I felt the language of Pearl wasn't completely in sync with that of a child her age. But that is such a minor concern that I feel nit picky for saying it. Regardless, Murphy (with assistance from Potter's illustrations) has written a moving account of a child's relationship with her grandmother and grief.
Published: May 1, 2009
Format: Paperback, 79 pages
Publisher: Walker Books
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Sally Murphy's blog
Sally Murphy's website
Check back on May 4 for Sally Murphy's visit to Persnickety Snark as part of her Aussie blog tour.
May 1st - Spinning Pearls.
May 2nd - The Writing Life
May 3rd - Tips 4Young Writers
May 4th - Persnickety Snark
May 5th - Let's Have Words
May 6th - Just Listen Book Reviews
May 7th - Look At That Book
May 8th - Write and Read with Dale
May 9th - Tales I Tell
May 10th - Writing Children's Books