Book reviews by kids

Book review: Pearl Verses the World

Pearl Verses the World by Sally Murphy, ill. Heather Potter, Walker Books Australia, ISBN 9781921150937

"Pearl Verses the World"


Matilda reviewed her own copy of this book.

I saw this on the bookshelves at our house — I’ve met the author and I also really like Roses are Blue and The Floatingest Frog by Sally Murphy, so I read the first few pages of this book and I didn’t stop.

This book is about three people: Pearl, her mother and her grandmother. And that’s how it’s always been. But suddenly Pearl’s life changes. Her grandmother is ill and her mother is thinking they will have to send her grandmother to a nursing home.

This is a sad book. I liked the characters Mitchell Mason and Prudence Jones because they were very interesting people. Pearl Verses the World is a verse novel and I liked it even more than Roses Are Blue, which is also a verse novel.

I would recommend this book to kids 7+ because it’s about school and it might be too sad for younger kids.

Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of  Nim at Sea. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!


Three Quick Questions – Sally Murphy #22

All through October, Alphabet Soup has been celebrating turning three. We had lots of writers and illustrators visiting our blog to answer THREE QUICK QUESTIONS. Today we have our last visitor, Sally Murphy—poet and author. Her books include Pearl Verses the World, Toppling and many more …

"Pearl Verses the World"

toppling (cover)

1. Where do you like to write?

At home—either at my desk or on the kitchen table. My desk has lots of piles of paper—ideas, drafts, books to read, and so on. So sometimes I have to move away from my desk to the kitchen table.

But I can write anywhere.  I carry a notebook in my bag and if I have a few minutes to spare, or if inspiration strikes, or I suddenly know what is going to happen next, I can grab the notebook and start writing.

2. Can you name a book you’d recommend to our readers?

Just one? I am happy to say that I read all the time (even more than I write) It is a great way to improve your writing skills, and of course it’s fun, too. One book I read recently that has stayed with me is Angel Creek, by Sally Rippin, about some kids who find an injured angel and decide to keep it.


Angel Creek (cover)
Sally Murphy recommends Angel Creek by Sally Rippin

3. Can you offer a word or phrase that kids could use for inspiration if they have writer’s block?


Find out more about Sally Murphy—visit her official author website, her website for kids and her book review website—Aussie Reviews.

That’s the end of our Three Quick Questions series. In case you missed any, here are links to all our visitors. (Check out your favourite writer or illustrator’s recommended read and writing prompt!)

Oliver Phommavanh

Frane Lessac

Wendy Orr

Susan Stephenson (The Book Chook)

James Foley

Tania McCartney

Mark Wilson

Cristy Burne

Sheryl Gwyther

Aleesah Darlison

Katrina Germein

Rebecca Cool

Sandy Fussell

Frederique from poetry blog, Fred’s Petals

Norman Jorgensen

Jackie Hosking

Claire Saxby

Kathryn Apel
Dee White

Robyn Opie

Janeen Brian

Sally Murphy

© October 2011 “Three Quick Questions with Sally Murphy” by Rebecca Newman (Alphabet Soup magazine)


Book reviews by kids, Duncraig Primary School

Book reviews by Duncraig Primary: Day 5 pt 2

Duncraig Primary School (in WA) has sent us some year 5 students’ book reviews.* We’ve been posting two reviews a day for the last 5 days and this is the final review. Well done to all the students for their fabulous reviews and for sharing some great books!

Pearl Verses the World, by Sally Murphy, ill. by Heather Potter. ISBN 9781921150937, Walker Books Australia.

"Pearl Verses the World"Reviewed by Lauren, age 10, Duncraig Primary.

This award-winning book is fantastic if you love reading books with characters, through their eyes and about their lives.

This book has won TWO awards WOW! One is a bronze award for a short-listed book and the second award is for a silver award for an honour book.

Pearl is a girl who is very fond of her grandma. She tells us at the beginning of the book that she is alone and that she is a group of one. Some of the groups at school which are not groups of one and are very tight are the ballet girls, rough kids and footy boys. Pearl tells us about her life at home and at her school. She soon finds out that she is really good at writing poems.

The wonderful illustrations that Heather Potter has done really put the picture in your mind, like you are there watching it in your own eyes. So, if you like books that make you feel you’re there watching the story, borrow it from a friend or take it out of the library today or buy it at a local book store.

I loved reading this book because it had poems in it and I especially loved the poem at the end. This book also has a bit of sadness in it, therefore I would recommend it for ages between 8 and 12 years.

I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did.

*Duncraig Primary is a member of our Undercover Readers Club. Books reviewed here are the students’ own.

"Undercover Readers Club logo"