Review Blog

Apr 30 2014

Pearlie's pet rescue by Gabrielle Wang

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Our Australian Girl series, (Pearlie Book 2). Penguin Australia, 2014. ISBN 9780143307952.
(Age: 8+) Pearlie is the 1940s girl and the second of the new Our Australian Girl characters for 2014. An Australian-Chinese daughter of hardworking parents in Darwin, Pearlie's life is being turned upside down by the threat of the war in the Pacific close at hand. Her best friend Naoko and her family have been interned, simply for being Japanese and Pearlie is devastated. She and Nao had suspected one of their neighbours, Mr Beake, of being a spy and had been almost caught out - Pearlie is still worried that he may found her bracelet in his house. Now Nao is gone, Pearlie is left on her own with her anxiety and she wonders what will happen next. Her only consolation is that she now has Nao's tiny monkey Tinto to look after and keep her company. The school year finishes, not just for the year, but for good as women and children begin to be evacuated compulsorily from the city. While this is traumatic in its own right, Pearlie discovers that residents have been ordered to destroy their pets before they leave and she is heartbroken thinking of these poor animals. She comes up with a plan - Pearlie's Pet Rescue - which she thinks is brilliant. She knows her own father will never leave his shop so she is the perfect person to take care of evacuees' loved pets. They can leave their pets, with enough money to feed them, with Pearlie and she will look after them as if her own. Soon, as well as her own Tinto, Pearlie is looking after Rusty the dog and Santa the cockatiel. But what will Pearlie do when the worst happens and her own family must leave the city under orders as well?
Full of appeal for the Our Australian Girl set, girls from 8 and up - especially those who love to follow a series through each of its episodes.
Sue Warren

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