Walker Books

May 2009

$14.95 AU

80p pb

ISBN: 978-1921150937

UK edition
title: Peal

Walker Books

October 2010

$3.99 UK

80p pb

ISBN: 978-1406327106

Pearl Verses The World

Sally Murphy

illustrations by Heather Potter

from Walker Books...

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.

If you have read this verse novel and would like to share your opinion of it with other readers please send your review or comments to YARR-A

Pearl is a young girl who at school is in a group of one. She enjoys writing poems but they don’t always rhyme so she thinks Miss Bruff won’t like them. But perhaps Mitchell Mason does? At home Pearl is part of a loving group of three: mum, granny and herself. But granny is unwell and no longer always remembers Pearl. And mum is always so very tired from looking after granny.  Pearl wants her family to stay at three…never two. Then one day Pearl is called to the principal’s office…but what she has to say can’t be true.

Pearl Verses The World, told in verse, is a moving story about a young girl who is coming to terms with death and isolation, but it is also a story of friendship and love. In just over 70 pages we get to know Pearl and empathize with her. This very accessible verse novel with affecting illustrations by Heather Potter is for middle primary onwards.

Stephen, Canberra, Australia

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