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Aunt Pearl

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  40 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Aunt Pearl arrives one day pushing a shopping cart full of her worldly goods. Her sister Rose has invited her to come live with her family.

Six-year-old Marta is happy to meet her aunt, who takes her out to look for treasure on garbage day, and who shows her camp group how to decorate a coffee table with bottle caps. But almost immediately, Pearl and Rose start to clash —
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 1st 2019 by Groundwood Books
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Average rating 3.40  · 
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 ·  40 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Aunt Pearl has nowhere to live, and so her sister invites her to live with her family. Pearl brings a grocery cart of her things with her...Pearl is not tidy...Pearl likes to search through the garbage...Pearl and her sister have different ways of doing things and they come into conflict. And one day Pearl is gone.

Aunt Pearl is a story that touches on the difficulties of homelessness as well as the complexity of relationships. It is strikingly true, and its ambiguous ending reflects the
Aug 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Reading this book made me feel like I had the wind knocked out of me. So heavy. And I have dealt with homelessness in my family and taking my relative in my house, so it hit hard. I think what bothers me the most out of this book isn't there there isn't a resolution, because honestly, in real life, that's unlikely, especially for chronically homeless people. My problem is that the mom never actually talks to the kids about what happened or answers them when her daughter is clearly distressed. It ...more
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Original review can be found on my blog: Mad Book Love

I’m not sure how I feel about this book. The author’s attempt to expose children to homelessness is both necessary and brave. Her approach is gentle, accepting, and gracious. The illustrations are outstanding and support the overall feel of the story itself. However, why she is homeless is not explained, so we are left to ascertain this for ourselves. Is she mentally ill? Her world view is definitely unusual. She’s quirky, certainly, but
Philippa Dowding
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"At dinner Aunt Pearl wore her hat covered with buttons.
'Make yourself at home,' said Mom.
Dan and Marta knew that meant, 'Please take off your hat.'
Dan read one of the buttons out loud: 'Normal people scare me."
'I live by those words,' said Aunt Pearl, chewing chicken."

And so goes the relationship with Aunt Pearl. The young children (Dan and Marta) in the story and their mother try to help their Aunt, who is homeless, by giving her a home. She is family, she is friend, and she is different from
Sandy Brehl
This is an important and seldom-treated topic, written with deft character development by a skilled author. The story, situation, characters, names, and language all make for meaty discussion, especially in social studies with upper elementary and beyond.
Theft that the young character is six allows for openness and acceptance, but also leaves plenty of open reflection space for older readers and groups.
Consider a book story on the topic with FLY AWAY HOME (Bunting) and THE LADY IN THE BOX
Interesting, and one of the VERY few books for young children about homelessness, and the even fewer about mental illnesses AND homelessness. I liked it, but it left me with many, many unanswered questions. It would be a great book for discussing the topic, but not something I would readily hand to a child without a caregiver to read with them. The ending was also extremely open-ended, which again lends itself to discussion--but also a troubling lack of direction for the whole narrative and I am ...more
Jessica Furtado
Sep 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A heartfelt, important story that would have benefited from an author's note to help give some context to Aunt Pearl's struggles. A list of resources to help explain homelessness and mental health to children would also have been helpful. Families may feel daunted by the heavy topic and unsure of how to explain it to little ones without resources as guidance.
Aug 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Man, that was heavy. Beautifully illustrated. Heavy.
Edward Sullivan
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A thoughtful, dignified, poignant, humanizing portrait of a homeless women seen through the eyes of her family as a sister and aunt. Beautiful collage illustrations by Irene Luxbacher.
Sep 03, 2019 rated it liked it
An interesting topic covered well for the age it is geared towards.
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Mental health and homelessness
Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.
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Monica Kulling was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. She received a BA in creative writing from the University of Victoria. Monica Kulling has published twenty-six fiction and nonfiction books for children, including picture books, poetry, and biographies. She is best known for introducing biography to children just learning to read and has written about Harriet Tubman, Houdini, Eleanor ...more
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