Molly and Pim and the millions of stars will surely reach the CBCA short list next year.
Molly lives with her mum. Her father has disappeared to Cuba and her older brothers have also departed to look for him. Molly lives a conflicted life. She loves her mum but she finds her unconventional behaviour and interest in healing plants embarrassing. Molly looks with longing at the seemingly ordinary and conventional life of her friend best Ellen.
Molly and her mum are having trouble with their awful neighbours. "Prudence Grimshaw had a long narrow head and short colourless hair, which rose upward and hovered above two stabbing eyes and a short line of lip." There are so many teaching opportunities that could be teased out from this description and the equally unflattering one of Ernest Grimshaw.
Mum decides they need a tree to block their garden from these complaining neighbours. Mum can work magic and so she collects an acorn from a nearby park. Mum plans to soak the acorn in a special "decoction" which will mean the full tree will grow in a week.
When you pick up your copy of Molly and Pim and the millions of stars please keep reading because the gasp aloud moment does not happen until page 51. I guarantee once you reach this point in the story you absolutely will not be able to put this book down as it races towards a very satisfying conclusion.
I am not going to tell you more about these events but I do need to talk about the aptly named Pim Wilder. Pim is a very different boy and so he is a mystery to Molly but he also a boy she would like to understand. As their friendship develops Molly asks Pim :
"What do you want to learn at school?'
'Not footy, that's for sure. And not multiplication tables I want to know how stuff works. And how to make one thing become something else. Light, for instance, or sound. What does it feel like to fly? How does an albatross guide itself as it flies across the ocean? What is a star?"
I do hope Martine Murray has plans to write a book about Pim. He is such an interesting character.
Take a minute to look at this video where you can meet Martine Murray. You might also like to read this review. We have several books in our library by Martine Murray including The Slightly True Story of Cedar B Hartley which was short listed back in 2003.