Moonpie and Ivy by Barbara O'Connor

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A girl abandoned by her mother discovers the feeling of family

Pearl's mother, Ruby, just up and left her with Aunt Ivy, who's a complete stranger to Pearl. "Your mama's done gone off the deep end," Ivy says, and Pearl wonders if she'll ever come back - Ruby has always been wild and irresponsible. So Pearl is stuck with Aunt Ivy, and Moonpie, the neighbor boy whose mother doesn't want him, either, and John Dee, Aunt Ivy's Beau. But these three people seem to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, in a way that Pearl can't comprehend, and she feels left out. As she starts to understand what connects them, and how much she wants to be a part of it, Ruby appears.

With a vividly depicted setting, emotional truth, and a distinctly Southern voice, Barbara O'Connor shows how Pearl develops a whole new notion of what she wants, and what she deserves.

About Barbara O'Connor

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Barbara O’Connor is the author of numerous acclaimed books for children, including Me and Rupert Goody, Greetings from Nowhere and How to Steal a Dog. She has been awarded the Parents’ Choice Gold and Silver Awards, the Massachusetts Book Award, and the Dolly Gray Award, among many honors. As a child, she loved dogs, salamanders, tap dancing, school, and even homework. Her favorite days were when the bookmobile came to town. She was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina, and now lives in Duxbury, Massachusetts, a historic seaside village not far from Plymouth Rock.
Published April 2, 2004 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). 164 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books.

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The novel's shrewd observations of the tangles of human relationships allow no easy happy endings: Ruby's reappearance at the end interrupts Pearl's slow realization that she can love and, more importantly, is worth loving.

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Publishers Weekly

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"This novel set in the rural South features a spunky, independent heroine, a compassionate adult and a rival preteen peer who vies for that adult's affection," wrote PW .

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