Review Blog

Nov 20 2016

The giant's necklace by Michael Morpurgo

cover image

Ill. by Briony May Smith. Walker Books, 2016. ISBN 9781406357127
(Age: 10+) Recommended (with reservations for sensitive children) Themes: Ghosts; Death. Young Cherry, the only girl in her family, is keen to finish the excessively long 'Giant's Necklace' (a shell collection on a string) before the family leaves their beachside holiday home. Unfortunately, her focus on finishing the task prevents her from noticing the changing sea conditions, and this prevents her from leaving the shore safely. Her attempts to climb the cliff to escape the wild seas leads her to the old abandoned tin mine, where she encounters ghosts from a long ago mine collapse. Although Morpurgo cleverly leads the reader to think this is a story of survival, it is actually a ghost story and might be quite confronting for readers too young to deal with the grief-washed ending.
Morpurgo writes very engagingly with metaphor dripping from the pages, and simple scenarios of family life revealed in a way that children can connect to. The challenging theme of lives lost though may mean that this is one of Morpurgo's books that may need to be discussed with the child reader, rather than just placed in their hands. The illustrations by Briony May Smith are colourful and in a naive style, and perhaps may wrongly hint at a more light-hearted story.
Carolyn Hull

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
Book Week 2017 ideas - Escape to Everywhere
Speech Pathology shortlist 2017
2017 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals
2017 Branford Boase Award
2017 UKLA Book Awards
Little Rebels Children's Book Award 2017
10th UK Waterstones Children's Laureate
UK Children's Book Award 2017
Laugh Out Loud Awards 2017 shortlist
2017 Locus Awards Winners
Environment Award for Children's Literature shortlist
Miles Franklin longlist 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Bookmark and poster templates