Book Reviews

Book Review: Ella Minnow Pea

Book Title: Ella Minnow Pea
Author: Mark Dunn
Genre: Fiction
Target Audience: Young Adult
Publication date: October 1st 2009 
Format: Paperback

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Perhaps in time, Ella, the words we have lost will fade, and we will all stop summoning them by habit, only to stamp them out like unwanted toadstools when they appear. Perhaps they will eventually disappear altogether, and the accompanying halts and stammers as well: those troublesome, maddening pauses that at present invade and punctuate through caesura all manner of discourse. Trying so desperately we all are, to be ever so careful.


Why I chose this?

I am in a fair few book groups on Facebook and someone was discussing this one day and I also have seen someone pinning a discussion of this on Pinterest so I wanted to check it out. After I read the synopsis I thought this would be a book I would find interesting.


What it’s about

Ella Minnow PeaElla Minnow Pea is a girl living happily on the fictional island of Nollop off the coast of South Carolina. Nollop was named after Nevin Nollop, author of the immortal pangram,* “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” Now Ella finds herself acting to save her friends, family, and fellow citizens from the encroaching totalitarianism of the island’s Council, which has banned the use of certain letters of the alphabet as they fall from a memorial statue of Nevin Nollop. As the letters progressively drop from the statue they also disappear from the novel. The result is both a hilarious and moving story of one girl’s fight for freedom of expression, as well as a linguistic tour de force sure to delight word lovers everywhere.

*pangram: a sentence or phrase that includes all the letters of the alphabet



First Impressions

So the cover doesn’t scream exciting and the above cover is the copy of the book I have. I have also seen a book cover with a picture of a girl (presumably Ella), a Minnow and a Pea. At the moment I am not sure where the fox comes into it other than in the saying, I can only assume that the fox steals one of the letters like in the cover.

As I have mentioned I have liked the idea of the book before I bought it so first impressions of the synopsis are already good.

What I Thought

As I have mentioned above it was the premise of this book that got me interested in this. I also had a look at reviews and many of the newer ones were 5 ⭐however, this fell short of my expectations.

I can’t believe the author managed to write some letters without the use of particular letters at the beginning of the book but the letters got progressively harder to read to a point where I was having to sound out the words like my five-year-old would to be able to understand what words were supposed to be written.

Also,  if you’re going to put a fox on the cover then at least give it more than the fact that it was in the pangram and if you use the fox why not the dog as well. Also for some reason, my five-year-old seems to thnk the fox is a donkey which would make even less sense.

Eye woz hoe ping it wood bee betta dan dis.


Star Rating

Have you read Ella Minnow Pea? Let me know in the comments

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