Monday, April 18, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - Pearl Verses the World

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday  

Shannon Whitney Messenger decided it was time to give middle grade stories the attention they deserve, and "Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays" was born. I couldn't resist being a part of such brilliance. Others who can be counted on for a great MMGM review each week:

Pearl Verses the World
by Sally Murphy
 
Goodreads Blurb:
A moving illustrated verse novel about a girl dealing with isolation at school, and with her grandma’s illness at home.
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.
A powerful and moving story about loss, grief and isolation.
Deals with sensitive issues of dementia from the child’s perspective.
I just finished this book. At first, I wasn't sure I was going to like it because of the lack of dialogue. We are truly in Pearl's head all the way through, and she jumps around a bit. However, children's thoughts DO jump around a bit. Right? 

I found myself drawn in by the simplicity of the prose and the depth of Pearl's love for her grandmother. It was really a touching story, one I think kids would like. To counteract some of the seriousness, there is humor in the way Pearl deals with her teacher and with Prudence, a girl in her class. Most importantly, though, I think it would be a great way to help a child deal with issues like dementia and loss. 

26 comments:

brookerousseau said...

Sounds like a beautiful and moving way to help kids deal with grief and loss. What age is it for?

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

O it sounds so beautiful.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Shannon -

What a great book for kids! The cover and title are appealing, and the story delivers an important message.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Mary Aalgaard said...

Another title I need to write down!

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi, Shannon. Thanks for sharing your review of this book. It sounds like it will be a very helpful book for kids who have to deal with dementia and loss. I like the look of the cover and the title.

Theresa Milstein said...

Thanks for the share. I had chills just reading it.

But the description from Goodreads seems to give so much of the plot away. It should say, "Will she find the courage to read her poem at her grandmother's funeral even if it doesn't meet her teacher's idea of poetry?" Something like that.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Sounds like a good book for the right kid. I hadn't heard of this. Thanks.

Nelson Souzza said...

The blog is very good!
Congratulations!
http://nelsonsouzza.blogspot.com

Jemi Fraser said...

Sounds like a book I need to have in my classroom - thanks for the tip.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

My thoughts jump around too, so I should have no problem following it. :D

Robyn Campbell said...

Jots down the title. Bff, I have never heard of this one. Sounds EXCELLENT. Thanks for sharing. YOU THE ONE!!!!! And a very cool amigo. :-)

Jennie Englund said...

Great title. Adorable cover. It's a YES!

Patti said...

Sounds like a great book, with an interesting theme.

Jeffrey Beesler said...

Wow. This sounds like a good read, not just for the intended target audience, but also maybe for older readers, too. I might just have to put this on my to-read list myself. Thanks for sharing, and it's a pleasure to meet you via the A-Z Challenge.

Catherine Denton said...

I love the title and cover. It sounds like an amazing book. We're going through that with a grandparent right now so thanks for the suggestion.
http://www.wingedwriter.blogspot.com/

Laura Marcella said...

It sounds like a poignant story. I think it's great when an author takes a different approach with the writing style, and this one sounds really interesting!

Robyn Campbell said...

Bff, have you heard about this?

You can win a crit of a picture book MS done by Jean reidy. Here's the link: A Totally Random Romp

Anita said...

Ladies: Thanks for giving middle grade the time they deserve!

Lynn said...

I am glad to see a MG book that deals with dementia and loss. Stories are sometimes a way to understanding and healing, and this sounds like a good one. Thanks for the review.

Joanne Fritz said...

Shannon, why have I never heard of this?? In the bookstore, we are always asked for books about grief and loss. Thanks for the recommendation.

Beth said...

This sounds like a lovely, gentle book. Thanks for the review.

ali said...

I love MMGM! Great review, Shannon!

Charmaine Clancy said...

It sounds sweet and sad.
Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Sounds like such a sweet story. Maybe kind of bittersweet and poignant? Truly lovely.

Jeanne said...

I love the themes in this book. It seems so compassionate and sensitive, just what I would like to read. It is such a needed thing in that mg difficult time for kids. Enjoyed your blog. WIll be back.

Sally Murphy said...

Just came across your review. Thanks for saying such lovely things about my book-baby!

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