CELEBRATING WITH FRIENDS – Sally Murphy Wins 2009 IBBY (Children’s Book)

My writer friends are doing wonderful things lately and I have decided it’s time I did something to help them celebrate. So tonight I’m throwing a party. **polite clapping** The Guest of Honour is Sally Murphy and we’re celebrating the announcement of Pearl Verses the World as Independent Booksellers Children’s Book of the Year 2009 **thunderous applause**

First a reading.

There are three people at my house
And that’s the way it should stay
My mum
And my granny.
If you take one away
We won’t be whole
Any more
Like a shoe without a lace
Or a flower with no petals.
It takes three
To make our family
Never one or two.

And for our meal let’s sit with Sally and have swordfish steaks (because they sound exotic), strawberry cheesecake (because I like it) and a semillion (very expensive of course). This is a literary dinner brought to you by the letter S – for Sally and Sensational and Spectacular.

Now I am going to make a speech. ** polite clapping and who was that who dared to groan? ** This is one I’ve already made in a number of places because I have long been one of Pearl Verses the World’s loud friends.

Pearl Verses the World by Sally Murphy. Illustrated by Heather Potter Walker Books Australia. Paperback rrp $14.95
Reprinted courtesy of The Reading Stack

Pearl Verses the World is a wonderful introduction for children who have never encountered a verse novel before. Verse novels are ideally suited for middle to upper primary readers. The reader becomes personally involved in a stream of consciousness conversation with the main character and the story quickly becomes very real.

Pearl feels alone. She doesn’t fit in at school. ‘My class is made up of groups. I am in a group of one.’ At home, her grandmother is very ill and the close family unit of grandmother, mother and daughter is unravelling.Pearl’s teacher wants her to write poems that rhyme but Pearl hears a different rhythm. When her grandmother dies, she finally finds the words to express how she feels.

Her world has changed but she discovers a new place to belong and her group of one is slowly expanding.I read this story to my primary school son and it opened his eyes in many ways. We talked about death. About belonging. About ‘poem books’. Reading Pearl Verses the World aloud together was a rich, rewarding experience.This book is special. A beautiful story about coping with grief and loss, expertly written for younger readers. A gentle and uplifting life lesson for all ages.

Leave a comment to ‘sign the guestbook’ if you dropped in. And if you would like to call in on Sally at home and offer your congratulations you can find her here http://www.sallymurphy.net

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13 responses to “CELEBRATING WITH FRIENDS – Sally Murphy Wins 2009 IBBY (Children’s Book)”

  1. Dee White says:

    What a lovely friend you are Sandy…and what a great idea. Of course we want to help Sally celebrate such a well deserved award.

    Pearl Verses the World is such a beautiful book and Pearl herself is such a special person – she and Sally certainly have something unique to offer young readers.

    Congratulations Sally and Pearl. And thanks Sandy, for inviting me to the party. Thought I’d better drop in early because I have to go home and feed the rabbits:-)

  2. Robyn Opie says:

    Congratulations, Sally. Wonderful news and well deserved. Pearl is a lovely book. I thoroughly enjoyed every page. And a great idea to celebrate, Sandy. I can’t resist a good party. Cheers to more successes!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations Sally. I haven’t read this book but I will remedy that within days!
    Thanks for the invite Sandy – I love a party – pity there’s no champagne though…
    Sally Hall x

  4. Kathryn Apel says:

    S – for special and ‘specially nice people – like Sally and Sandy! Congratulations on an awesome achievement, Sally.

  5. Sally Murphy says:

    S is also for Sipping Seppelts Schampagne, which is what I am doing right now!

    Thank so much for throwing this impromptu party, Sandy. I am so very honoured and chuffed and tickled pink, and really really touched.

    And thanks everyone for your good wishes. Dreams do come true!

  6. Megan Daley says:

    What a wonderful idea! A blog party. I do like it! I am celebrating with some berry cheesecake for you Sally, and I also have M and M’s, Peanut…I think Pearl would like them.

    Pearl Verses the World is one of those rare books that really does live with you afterwards, I have thought about it at many odd moments since reading and re reading it months ago. It is just perfect. Pearl is the sort of girl I would love to meet and befriend.

    Teacher Librarians be warned…pre reading is essential. Otherwise you WILL cry in front of the class.

  7. Sally Murphy says:

    Thanks megan. Mmmmmm M & Ms are fine (for Murphy and Megan maybe?).
    lol re crying – after a school visit one fo the kids said ‘the best part was when sally cried when she read aloud’.
    love it!

  8. Mabel says:

    Sally! How wonderful. I hope you like cinnamon apple slice (my mother’s favourite recipe) with double cream – ‘cos I’m biting into it right now and passing some on to Pearl as well

  9. Sally Murphy says:

    Thanks Mabel. Sounds delicious!

  10. Janeen says:

    Sally, I have had my book on order and am picking it up on THursday. It sounds so magic, so treasurable. Congratulations, once again. Hug yourself lots.


  11. I guess I am too late for the semillon? Yeah, thought so.

    Great news about the Indie award, Sally.

    And thanks for the cyber-almost-sips, Sandy!

  12. Sally Murphy says:

    Thanks Janeen and Book Chook. the wodnerful thing about cyber-parties and cyber-semillon is that both can go on and on and on.

  13. SANDY says:

    Three days on and we’re still partying! There’s not even much mess to clean up (just a lot of empty bottles!)Thanks to everyone who signed the guest book and to those who called in for a quick congrats (must have been a few of those as my Stat Counter jumped). We’re so proud of you, Sally.

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