Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Pearl Verses the World” as Want to Read:
Pearl Verses the World
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Pearl Verses the World

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  346 Ratings  ·  115 Reviews
At school, Pearl is a group of one, and at home her beloved granny is fading. A poignant gem of a tale about independence, grief, and finding your place.

Pearl likes to write poems, but despite the insistence of her teacher, Ms. Bruff, Pearl's poems don't rhyme, and neither does she. She wishes she could grow gills so she could stay underwater in swim class without drowning
Hardcover, 80 pages
Published August 23rd 2011 by Candlewick Press (MA)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-10)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Teguh Affandi
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Suka banget sama ceritanya, karakter Pearl, dan bikin hati hangat sekali.
Kisahnya memang soal cinta kepada nenek-nya, tapi soal puisi tidak harus berima, bikin orang macam saya berpikir meletakkan diri di kerumunan massa.

Why didn't you know a poem does not have to rhyme? It does not have to be written in a certain way, at a certain time. A poem comes when it is needed and write itself in the way it needs to get its point across.

Catherine Sotir
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I would love to know what inspired the author to write this book. It touch me in a way that no other book has in a while. I couldn't finish the story without crying. I can totally relate to Pearls story as I lost my father at a young age, not as young as she, but young enough and was not ready for it to happen. My heart went out to Pearl and her struggle with the loss of her Granny. I would love to share this story with my students and will put it out in my room for them to vi ...more
May 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I received the galley of Pearl Verses the World I hadn't realised that it had a rather young target audience. It's aimed at children at primary school and it took me very little time to read. However, I am ever so glad that I did decide to read it. There are far too few books for children focusing on the themes dealt with in the story. Predominantly that of Alzheimer's Disease. The only other children's book I have read on the subject is Eastham's The Memory Cage but that really is aimed at ...more
Apr 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pearl tells a heartbreaking but simple story that explores the sensitive issues of dementia, grief, loss and loneliness from the viewpoint of a young girl. A girl that does not fit into the world that she is part of. A girl that does not rhyme with the world around her. A girl that loves her grandmother who taught her “sometimes a poem needs no rhyme to be just right. Sometimes a poem just is”.

That is Pearl, she just is. She is just a little girl facing heartbreak for the first time, she is just
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
In this short Australian novel in verse Pearl faces troubles at school and at home. At school her teacher insists she write poetry that rhymes, when free verse comes more naturally to her. At home her beloved grandma is dying. Pearl feels alone, isolated from everyone else. I liked how the author brought both Sally's two problems and her feeling of isolation together at the end of the story. Sometimes solutions to problems come when least expected and from unexpected people and places. I'm prett ...more
Nancy Kotkin
Pearl is coping with grief over her Granny's illness, and then death. She is also grappling with feelings of loneliness and isolation at school, where she eventually makes a friend. This sub-plot fits right into the themes of the main plot, without overpowering it.

Contrary to what her teacher and classmates think, Pearl believes that a poem doesn't have to rhyme, and can come in many forms. This children's chapter book could be used to introduce a poetry unit, not only as a wonderful example of
Mary Alexandre
Pearl has a lot going on in her life as she copes with the everyday struggles at school along with the cruel reality at home as her Grandmother's life comes to an end. This beautifully written story is relatable on many different levels for children facing the inevitable battles that life throws at them. I recommend this text for grades four and up for students who are ready and able to handle a mature theme while enjoying Pearl's various confrontations at school and her determination to pass al ...more
Mar 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Simply put, I loved this book.

Only a few pages in we know something is not right in Pearl's home. Though it isn't explicitly stated, it seems Pearl used to be happy but now she is so consumed with sadness that her friendships have changed. (She spends all her time at school alone and mentions that Lucy Wong used to be her friend.) Something has changed that has her so sad that she cannot take part in ordinary things--friendship, and writing poems that rhyme:

Miss Bruff, I'd like to say,
there is
Jun 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
For all of Pearl's life family has meant Pearl, her mom, and her granny. But now Granny is slipping away from them, slowly losing her memories and her life, and turning Pearl's world upside down. Pearl's heart and mind are always at home with Granny and her mom, who is on compassionate leave from her work in order to care for her dying mother. Pearl's teacher is unaware of Her grief and fails to notice how she has separated herself from her friends and classmates. Miss Bruff's insistence that Pe ...more
I was delightfully surprised by this book. (I have a habit of just picking children's books off the new books shelf on my way out of work without reading the back or first few pages.) This book is written by an Australian author, which is maybe why the book hasn't gotten more attention yet, but I found it to be so telling in a simple, real way. The entire story is told through short poems (not abstract) that flow together to reveal a little girl who is struggling with her grandmother's dementia ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Unforgotten Coat
  • The Wild Book
  • Etched in Clay: The Life of Dave, Enslaved Potter and Poet
  • Like Carrot Juice on a Cupcake (Eleanor, #3)
  • Never Forgotten
  • Hugging the Rock
  • Letters to Leo
  • Peaceful Pieces: Poems and Quilts About Peace
  • Emma Dilemma: Big Sister Poems
  • Wild Wings
  • Child of the Mountains
  • Just a Dog
  • Another Day as Emily
  • Mimi
  • The Scar
  • Salt: A Story of Friendship in a Time of War
  • Coaltown Jesus
  • My Happy Life
Sally Murphy is an Australian author of over 30 children's books. She's also the slightly crazy mother of six beautiful kids. You'll find bits of her buried somewhere in every one of her books. She loves reading, writing, and speaking about reading and writing.

PEARL VERSES THE WORLD won the 2010 Australian Family Therapists’ Award for Children’s Literature as well as the 2010 Australian Speech Pa
More about Sally Murphy...
“In the library
I search for a good book.
We have many books,
says Mrs. Rose, the librarian,
and ALL of them are good.
Of course she says that. It's her job.
But do I want to read about
Trains and
Or even
Houses and

In the fiction corner
there are pink boks
full of princesses
and girls who want to be princesses
and black books
about bad boys
and brave boys
and brawny boys.

Where is the book
about a girl
whose poems don't rhyme
and whose Granny is fading?
Pearl, says Mrs. Rose, the bell has rung.

I go back to class
empty headed
More quotes…