Megan's Reviews > Mister Pip

Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones
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's review
Sep 23, 2007

really liked it
Read in September, 2007

On an unnamed tropical island, war disrupts the lives of young Matilda and she classmates. When almost all of the whites living on her island, including the school teachers, flee the conflict, only the reclusive Mr. Watts remains. Married to a local girl, Mr. Watts takes over schooling the island's children. However, lacking any curriculum or experience, his teaching revolves around reading aloud from Dickens' Great Expectations. The kids are enthralled, despite having no real understanding of the world of Dickens. But the power of stories is the point of this not very subtle book. Luckily its a point I can totally get behind. A nice touch is that in addition to the readings from Dickens, Mr. Watts invites the local island women to address the class with more practical lessons like how to kill an octopus (bite it behind the eyes, apparently). Matilda's mother is jealous of the influence of both Mr. Watts and Mr. Dickens on her daughter, which leads her to an act that will have lasting consequences for everyone on the island. Although the book is obvious in its message, it is still a charming read.
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11/08/2016 marked as: read

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Paul The island is Bouganville.

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