My book corner loves the style of this one - a story told in verse, with accompanying pencil drawn illustrations to assist understanding for emerging readers.
This book deals with serious themes - a girl's perceived isolation at school together with the dementia and eventual death of her granny. At school she is a group of one, at home a group of three - but this all changes. The novel is written in verse form to emphasises Pearl's own struggle with her teacher over her knowledge that she knows poems do not have to rhyme - this one doesn't.
Sally Murphy's effective stream of consciousness style effectively communicates Pearl's feelings during this time. The saddest part is when she is called in to the office, and the news of the granny's death is given by the hard headmistress - but I think I found this much sadder than my younger listener. Sally deals with the funeral, the visits from friends and the knowledge that Pearl can carry on safe in the knowledge that
"somewhere Granny is watching us
No longer old"
I was at first reluctant, through instinct, to read such a sensitive issue to my daughter. She took it in her stride and enjoyed it, I think it's probably me as an adult who attributes much deeper thoughts to it.
This novel is so well written, beautiful descriptions both comical and thoughtful are in plentiful supply and this is the over riding feature of this novel - the talent of the author shines through on each page. It's a great example of good writing to present to both emerging and confident readers.