A girl abandoned by her mother discovers the feeling of family
Pearl's mother, Ruby, just up and left her with Aunt Ivy, who's a complete stranger to Pearl. "Your mama's done gone off the deep end," Ivy says, and Pearl wonders if she'll ever come back - Ruby has always been wild and irresponsible. So Pearl is stuck with Aunt Ivy, and Moonpie, the neighbor boy whose mother doesn't want him, either, and John Dee, Aunt Ivy's Beau. But these three people seem to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, in a way that Pearl can't comprehend, and she feels left out. As she starts to understand what connects them, and how much she wants to be a part of it, Ruby appears.
With a vividly depicted setting, emotional truth, and a distinctly Southern voice, Barbara O'Connor shows how Pearl develops a whole new notion of what she wants, and what she deserves.
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Ruby used to call her 12-year-old daughter Pearl her "little gem," but Pearl knows better. If she were really "a gem," her mother wouldn't have dumped her at her aunt Ivy's house in Georgia and driven off into the dust. Once Pearl realizes her mom didn't just run to the 7-Eleven for cigarettes, she reluctantly settles in, warily observing her generous, loving Aunt Ivy--half-hoping her crazy, irresponsible mother comes back soon and half-hoping she never comes back at all.
Rural Georgia offers few distractions for a girl from Tallahassee, but Pearl does meet the strange Moonpie, an 11-year-old boy with transparent skin and cantaloupe-colored hair who lives in a ramshackle house with his dying grandmother Mama Nell. With the help of Aunt Ivy, Mama Nell, and Moonpie, Pearl stitches together clues to her own identity as she learns about her grandparents and her own mother who everyone says "had the devil in her." Pearl is the spitting image of this "devil girl." Does that mean she is fated to repeat her mistakes?
Thanks to Barbara O'Connor's clean, honest prose, readers will fully identify with Pearl's mixture of resentment and longing. What will happen if her mother never comes back? What if she does? There are no pat answers served up in this well-crafted, down-home, straight-talking story about the yearning for love. (Ages 10 and older) --Karin SnelsonAbout the Author:
Barbara O'Connor has written several popular novels for young readers, including Me and Rupert Goody, an ALA Notable Book, and Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia. She was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina, and currently lives in Duxbury, Massachusetts.
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Book Description Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0374350590
Book Description Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110374350590
Book Description Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0374350590 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1050898