The Forgotten Pearl

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A grandmother's story of her experiences during World War II-era Australia help her granddaughter face her own modern-day problems

Let me tell you a story. A story about friendship and sisters, about grief and love and danger, and about growing up . . .

When Chloe visits her grandmother, she learns how close war came to destroying her family. Could Poppy’s experiences help Chloe face her own problems? In 1941, Poppy lives in Darwin, a peaceful paradise. But when Japan attacks Pearl Harbor and then Australia, everything Poppy holds dear is threatened. Terrified, she flees to Sydney—only to find that the danger follows her there. Poppy must face her war with courage and determination. Will her world ever be the same?


Belinda Murrell has worked as a travel journalist, technical writer, editor, and public relations consultant. Her work has appeared in the Sun Herald, Sunday Telegraph, and Sydney Morning Herald. She is the author of the Lulu Bell series and the Sun Sword fantasy trilogy, as well as The River Charm, The Ruby Talisman, and The Sequin Star.


"This colourful, deeply moving saga of Poppy’s family is an utterly enthralling tale with warm, well-rounded characters forging their difficult lives in this entertainingly executed tale. Forgive the cliché, but this is a  'terrific yarn' for middle school readers."  —Russ Merrin, Magpie"The best kind of books are the ones where closing the covers for the final time is like saying good-bye to a friend. The Forgotten Pearl left me with these feelings, the same emotions experienced by protagonist, Poppy Trehearn, as she is forced to bid farewell to family and friends when the terror of World War II strikes her beloved home town of Darwin."  —Kate Mani, Viewpoint"A beautiful, insightful novel, reminding us of a bleak time in Australia’s history, but ultimately showing how Australians stuck together to protect themselves, and others."  —
"Murrell's careful research and family anecdotes provide the backbone of a tale that is not only informative and enlightening, but enthralling. In Poppy, Murrell has created a character that will hopefully inspire young readers with her courage, kindness, resourcefulness, resilience, loving care and respect. If I were the mother of a maturing daughter, this is exactly the kind of book I would encourage her to read. I can't give it much higher praise than that."  —Dani Colvin, Sunday Tasmanian