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Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars

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All Molly wants is to be normal like her friend Ellen Palmer. Ellen, with her neat braids and a tidy house and a mother and father who are home for dinner every night. But Molly's mom spends her mornings tramping through the woods, looking for ingredients for her potions. Their house is not neat, and their rooster, the Gentleman, runs wild in their yard. And it is the Gent All Molly wants is to be normal like her friend Ellen Palmer. Ellen, with her neat braids and a tidy house and a mother and father who are home for dinner every night. But Molly's mom spends her mornings tramping through the woods, looking for ingredients for her potions. Their house is not neat, and their rooster, the Gentleman, runs wild in their yard. And it is the Gentleman that angers their grumpy neighbors, the Grimshaws. So Molly's mom makes a potion that will grow a tree between their houses. When Molly's mom accidentally drinks the potion and turns into the tree, Molly is determined to get her back. But with the Grimshaws planning to cut down the tree branches that reach onto their property, time is of the essence. With the help of her mysterious classmate Pim Wilder, Molly sets out to save her mother and discovers the wonder that lies in the ordinary.


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All Molly wants is to be normal like her friend Ellen Palmer. Ellen, with her neat braids and a tidy house and a mother and father who are home for dinner every night. But Molly's mom spends her mornings tramping through the woods, looking for ingredients for her potions. Their house is not neat, and their rooster, the Gentleman, runs wild in their yard. And it is the Gent All Molly wants is to be normal like her friend Ellen Palmer. Ellen, with her neat braids and a tidy house and a mother and father who are home for dinner every night. But Molly's mom spends her mornings tramping through the woods, looking for ingredients for her potions. Their house is not neat, and their rooster, the Gentleman, runs wild in their yard. And it is the Gentleman that angers their grumpy neighbors, the Grimshaws. So Molly's mom makes a potion that will grow a tree between their houses. When Molly's mom accidentally drinks the potion and turns into the tree, Molly is determined to get her back. But with the Grimshaws planning to cut down the tree branches that reach onto their property, time is of the essence. With the help of her mysterious classmate Pim Wilder, Molly sets out to save her mother and discovers the wonder that lies in the ordinary.

30 review for Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars

  1. 4 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    Well this was absolutely ADORABLE and also full of useful information in case one of my family members accidentally turns into a tree. You never know when that kind of stuff will happen, after all. We're all pretty much at risk. But, like Molly (the protagonist) I make a mean chocolate and cashew ball so I WOULD SURVIVE TOO. Let's have a little list, shall we? Of all the THINGS about this book: + It's middle-grade and the voice is really adorable and endearing. It's pretty young. I'm not sure if i Well this was absolutely ADORABLE and also full of useful information in case one of my family members accidentally turns into a tree. You never know when that kind of stuff will happen, after all. We're all pretty much at risk. But, like Molly (the protagonist) I make a mean chocolate and cashew ball so I WOULD SURVIVE TOO. Let's have a little list, shall we? Of all the THINGS about this book: + It's middle-grade and the voice is really adorable and endearing. It's pretty young. I'm not sure if it mentioned how old Molly is...but I would say maybe 10? As an adult reader, I didn't really connect to her. I couldn't figure out her personality. She craved normality, and seemed to have a very black-and-white and focused/serious way of thinking...but at the end she was "weird" and spontaneous? SO YEAH. She's an odd little moppet, but definitely a brave heroine. + There is a lot of food. I like food. So this suits me just fine. And the descriptions aren't long, just detailed and pointed. Like, it doesn't say "jam", it'll say pomegranate and apricot jam. And doesn't that just leap off the page? (Although that was an example. I can't actually remember if there's jam in there. I THINK SO.) + Of course it's about friendship too. Molly is friend's with Ellen, who's average (Molly has this hang up about wanting to be average) and then Molly gradually becomes friends with Pim. Pim is a dude. Yup. Surprised me too. I was very curious about Pim since he a) seemed to have no backstory, and b) slipped in and out of the story without leaving that much of a mark. I was expecting the book to bust out with "AND THIS IS WHO PIM IS!" but he basically just stayed a shadow character. + It's realistic but also magical. I mean, her mother turns into a TREE for goodness sakes. But still, they go to school and eat sausage rolls and the cat is a pain and the neighbours are awful and someone gets bitten by a deadly snake. Normal stuff. + Also it's Australian. I like Australian books!! And it's not overly Australian. It just sneaks in now and then with references to kookaburras and magpies and Tuckshop at school and, well, AUSSIE FOOD TOO. + There are lots of weeds. Not the smoking kind, gee, get with it, this is a CHILDREN'S book. But there are many herbs and weeds and weird concoctions because Molly's mother is like a herb-woman. Although Molly does make stuff in the book, it's not particularly advisable to follow her directions. She seemed to be picking weeds and using them and UM. YEAH. No. ...but...there were some things I didn't like. JUST SMALL THINGS. Like the fact that when Molly mother accidentally turns herself into a tree, Molly spends less time freaking out and more time worrying what she's going to eat. Which, um, okay...that is a legit concern. BUT STILL. A little callous? And the fact that Pim really didn't play as big a part as I hoped. And also the title. WHAT IS WITH THE TITLE. It doesn't barely even glance at stars until the very last sentence. Why isn't it called Molly and Pim and The Time Her Mother Turned Into A Tree And the Neighbours Wanted to Cut her Up for Kindling. A little wordy, but totally more fitting. Also the climax was very easy. And the chapters would often cut off without a very rounded ending. Half the time I felt they cut off midi-thought, and not in a But what happens next! way. Just a "bored of this though. MOVING ON" sort of way. But it is a children's book, so I shall shush my complaints. This is definitely a cute and easy and very visual read! There are little drawings scattered about and the writing is delicious. There is food (so much win) and themes of courage and friendship and bravery and greenery. What more could you want really? And if devious children try to read this in order to learn HOW to turn their parents into trees...that can also work too. I believe there's a recipe. (BAHHAHA. There is not. I'm joking. But there are vague instructions.)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Marianne

    “…today is a prickly day….Molly flexed her toes to let them know she would soon be depending on them. Everything was bound to be in a contrary way this morning; even her toes might misbehave” Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars is a novel by Australian author and illustrator, Martine Murray. Molly lives in a house with her mama, Claudine the cat and Maudie the black-and-white collie dog. They live next to Ernest and Prudence Grimshaw, staunch, zipped-up, sneering people who are always complai “…today is a prickly day….Molly flexed her toes to let them know she would soon be depending on them. Everything was bound to be in a contrary way this morning; even her toes might misbehave” Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars is a novel by Australian author and illustrator, Martine Murray. Molly lives in a house with her mama, Claudine the cat and Maudie the black-and-white collie dog. They live next to Ernest and Prudence Grimshaw, staunch, zipped-up, sneering people who are always complaining. Their latest gripe is about being woken by the early-morning crowing of mama and Milly’s rooster, the Gentleman. Molly loves her mama, but she wishes she were a bit more normal, like her best friend, Ellen’s mama, who lives in a normal house, drives a normal car and puts apricot muesli bars in Ellen’s lunchbox. Molly’s mama collects wild herbs at dawn, rides a yellow bike with two seats and tries to solve the problem of the complainers in an original way. But something goes a bit wrong, and suddenly, Molly’s mama is a tree. The mama tree is beautiful and different (just like Molly’s mama), with strange and delicious fruit, but it doesn’t cook. And while eating as many chocolate cashew balls as she wants for dinner is nice, Molly longs for mama’s black-eyed pea autumn stew. Molly is afraid to tell Ellen what has happened: Ellen might be horrified and might not want to be her friend. But when Pim Wilder comes along, Molly thinks he might be able to help: “Pim was like a walk in the woods at dusk: full of darkness and brightness both at once, he was restless and unfitting, pouncing on ideas and lifting them out of the dark. Pim’s world was the mysterious world of owls, stars, animals and earth” Murray gives the reader a truly delightful tale and adorns her text with charming illustrations, and Imogen Stubbs has provided a sparkling cover. Molly, her mama and her friends have words of wisdom and insightful observations. Murray’s descriptive prose is often lovely: “The world was never completely still and quiet, but the night had a special sort of hushed activity. Things rustled and seemed hidden within the blackness, and it was as if dreams bloomed like shadows and escaped from their moorings and grew in momentous, invisible ways”. Ultimately, Molly learns: “Everyone has their own world: you, me, Pim Wilder, everyone. We’re all like little stars, shining as hard as we can, with our own particular kind of light”. A magical read. 4.5★s

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kelly (Diva Booknerd)

    http://www.divabooknerd.com/2015/07/m... Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars was a joyful and lovely middle grade read. Contemporary sprinkled with magic realism, the underlying story is about friendship, acceptance and learning the value that the grass isn't always greener. Molly is at that age where she's incredibly self conscious about how she's perceived. She see's best friend Ellen as having the perfect life, full of modern conveniences and so far removed from her own. She's inquisitive, http://www.divabooknerd.com/2015/07/m... Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars was a joyful and lovely middle grade read. Contemporary sprinkled with magic realism, the underlying story is about friendship, acceptance and learning the value that the grass isn't always greener. Molly is at that age where she's incredibly self conscious about how she's perceived. She see's best friend Ellen as having the perfect life, full of modern conveniences and so far removed from her own. She's inquisitive, but wants nothing more for her mother to be normal. Until she suddenly doesn't have a mother. Sort of. A spell that has gone horribly wrong leaves Molly to fend for herself and no one to turn to. She can't tell Ellen what's happened to her mother so that leaves weird and wonderful Pim. I loved his character. He brought spark and personality to the storyline and was a brilliant example of all things unique. He was understanding, not to mention reliable and gave off an air of honesty. The most magical aspect of the storyline was the fantasy elements. It added such a lovely sense of whimsy. The only negative aspect for me was Molly's missing father and brothers. Her father was supposedly lost in Cuba, but the storyline didn't expand further on his character or lack thereof. For children, Molly's missing father may pose more questions than answers. A small gripe that also could also be used for further discussion with older children. Whimsical and utterly lovely, Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars will enchant middle grade readers and adults alike. Children will adore the magical realism and the underlying storyline of friendship and acceptance. The monochrome illustrations throughout are simply lovely. A delight to read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Text Publishing

    Text's word of the Month: 'Whimsical' It is also incidentally a word that seems to be popping up a lot for Molly and Pim. There's always room for more whimsy. ‘Molly and Pim is wild, whimsical and wonderful. It makes you fall in love with the world and everyone in it.’ Sally Rippin ‘Open-hearted and magical—an utter delight.’ Rebecca Stead Text's word of the Month: 'Whimsical' It is also incidentally a word that seems to be popping up a lot for Molly and Pim. There's always room for more whimsy. ‘Molly and Pim is wild, whimsical and wonderful. It makes you fall in love with the world and everyone in it.’ Sally Rippin ‘Open-hearted and magical—an utter delight.’ Rebecca Stead

  5. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

    Charming! So very charming.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Clare Snow

    Shortlisted for last year's CBCA Book of The Year Younger Readers, I borrowed it from the library back then. I love Martine Murray's whimsical illustrations, but somehow Molly and Pim went back to the library without being read. It took me until now to borrow the audio book and read the story this time round. My recurring refrain - why did it take me so long?? "Have you lost your Mumma? When she's right there in front of you, just changed into a tree and rooted to the ground." I love this pictures Shortlisted for last year's CBCA Book of The Year Younger Readers, I borrowed it from the library back then. I love Martine Murray's whimsical illustrations, but somehow Molly and Pim went back to the library without being read. It took me until now to borrow the audio book and read the story this time round. My recurring refrain - why did it take me so long?? "Have you lost your Mumma? When she's right there in front of you, just changed into a tree and rooted to the ground." I love this picturesque tale of being different, but finding out that's not such a bad thing, and along the way your mother turns into a tree. Listening to the audio book, I missed the illustrations. It wasn't a problem until the last chapter - Molly's notebook. I'll re-borrow the paperback to flick through and remind myself of them. Kerry Armstrong's narration is perfect but the author's illustrations need to be seen. Molly and her Mumma are hilarious. Their ongoing battle with the evil Grimshaws is rollicking fun. The neighbours are reminiscent of Roald Dahl's The Twits, although a crowing rooster would send anyone into apoplexies. "Almost as golden as the dawn, and then it just seeps like a little song into my dreams" - my ass. Claudette the cat and Maud the border collie are important companions when Molly loses her Mumma to treedom, which enamoured the story to me even more, but a jam-eating cat!? I guess Molly's diet of chocolate balls is just as bad. "Pim was so very thoughtful about things that weren't quite certain and measurable." This review is from my blog http://ofceilingwax.wordpress.com/201...

  7. 4 out of 5

    ALPHAreader

    ‘Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars’ is the new middle-grade/juvenile fiction novel from Australian author Martine Murray. Something really interesting happened this year, with Hardie Grant Egmont’s Ampersand Project (which seeks out new voices in youth literature) – they opened the prize up to more than just Young Adult manuscripts, but also middle-grade (books for 8 to 12-year-olds). I think that’s really interesting because for a while there, Australia had high-quality children’s picture ‘Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars’ is the new middle-grade/juvenile fiction novel from Australian author Martine Murray. Something really interesting happened this year, with Hardie Grant Egmont’s Ampersand Project (which seeks out new voices in youth literature) – they opened the prize up to more than just Young Adult manuscripts, but also middle-grade (books for 8 to 12-year-olds). I think that’s really interesting because for a while there, Australia had high-quality children’s picture books, great junior fiction (for 5+, think Sally Rippin and Anh Do!) and of course our young adult scene is out of this world (14-18, roughly) but in the past we had less Australian middle-grade on offer, and had to rely on US and UK authors to fill the gap (I’m thinking of ‘Wonder’ by RJ Palacio, everything by Rebecca Stead and Hilary McKay). But in the last five years or so, I’ve seen the tides turning – Ampersand’s inclusion of middle-grade manuscripts is yet another example of the Oz Publishing scene recognising the need for more Australian voices writing to this age group. Equally amazing has been the establishment of The Readings Children’s Book Prize, awarding stellar emerging authors who have been writing for this readership. So – with all that in mind allow me to celebrate this gorgeous and wondrous book from Martine Murray, which is a real gift for the middle-grade readership. This novel is filled with magical realism and whimsy, while still having its feet just firmly enough on the ground. It’s a story about friendship – and about the curious incident that sees Molly’s mother turning herself (accidentally!) into a tree, and the repercussions that follows … Friendship is a big part of the novel – Molly is friends with Ellen and Pim Wilder, the latter of whom is a boy “always worth watching” who offers up the strangest sorts of facts about the natural world and outer-space; Molly was secretly fascinated by Pim Wilder. He didn’t move with the pack. He wasn’t drawn by the cool talk and the latest fads. And this made him interesting, and a little intimidating too. Ellen was afraid of him. But Ellen was easily afraid. She would never walk in the woods on her own or rescue a spider from the bath. If Molly told Ellen about her mama’s herbs and potions, Ellen might even find this too strange and scary. I loved the fact that Molly is grounded with these very real problems in her life, having to be very careful about the sides of herself she shows to the rest of the world, and being drawn to a new friend who sparks her sense of wonder and adventure … and at the same time, HER MOTHER IS A TREE! I think young readers will be at once tickled with the whole concept, and very connected to the complex character of Molly, her friendship woes and identity crisis. There are sweet little illustrations throughout the book, drawn by Martine Murray who also did the cover illustration. They are like little treasures between the pages, and a real delight in a book that’s already choc-full of them in story! Here is a middle-grade novel that sees beauty and magic in the environment around us, and celebrates seeds of friendship which grow deep roots. I loved this charming and whimsical novel, and young readers will too!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tasha

    Molly longs not to have a mother who heads into the woods to collect weeds and herbs. She wants a normal family that has a normal house, not one that feels like a caravan inside. She wants a mother who gives her granola bars in packages, not one who creates potions and treatments. Her neighbors want them to calm down too, get control of their rooster who crows at dawn and to neaten up their yard. Molly’s mother creates a powerful potion to grow a tree in one night that will shield them from the Molly longs not to have a mother who heads into the woods to collect weeds and herbs. She wants a normal family that has a normal house, not one that feels like a caravan inside. She wants a mother who gives her granola bars in packages, not one who creates potions and treatments. Her neighbors want them to calm down too, get control of their rooster who crows at dawn and to neaten up their yard. Molly’s mother creates a powerful potion to grow a tree in one night that will shield them from the neighbors, but accidentally drinks it herself. Suddenly, Molly’s mother has turned into a tree. Now Molly has to decide who to trust with the secrets of her life. It can’t be Ellen, her best friend, who is very normal and whose life Molly covets. Instead she turns to the odd boy in their class, Pim, who creates a plan along with Molly to bring her mother back. But will it work before her neighbors start to cut off the branches of the wild new tree? This Australian import is a magical read and not only for the real magic that happens on the pages. It has a gorgeous tone about it, one that is organic and delicious at the same time. One feels invited directly into the wonder of potions and weeds, your hands itching to get out there and brew your own green syrup. The voice throughout is fresh and filled with surprise. Molly grows throughout the book, realizing that her own unique upbringing is nothing to be ashamed of. I love that it is Ellen, the normal one, who teaches her this. She speaks directly to Molly about how it feels to be excluded and how important it is to trust. The writing in the book is very special, creating moments like these that are less about lectures and more about sudden inspiration and realizations. A gorgeously written novel that offers potions, magic and wonder. Appropriate for ages 9-12.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    A bit too young for my students, and rather Australian as well. Can't explain why, but I can almost always identify a book as Australian. A bit too young for my students, and rather Australian as well. Can't explain why, but I can almost always identify a book as Australian.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

    A whimsical delight. Her descriptions are fabulous, her characters interesting and full of personality. Add magic and you have a perfect book to curl up with on a sunny afternoon.

  11. 5 out of 5

    April

    Molly is 10 years old and just wants to be normal. But her Manic Pixie-esque mom is anything but "normal" like Ellen's mom; who sends Ellen to school with food in packets and would NEVER make strange potions at home or talk about strange things. When a potion goes wrong (view spoiler)[(turning Molly's mom into a TREE!) (hide spoiler)] , Molly has to team up with the equally strange boy in her class, Pim, to try to save her mother. Along the way she redefines friendships, realizes what matters mos Molly is 10 years old and just wants to be normal. But her Manic Pixie-esque mom is anything but "normal" like Ellen's mom; who sends Ellen to school with food in packets and would NEVER make strange potions at home or talk about strange things. When a potion goes wrong (view spoiler)[(turning Molly's mom into a TREE!) (hide spoiler)] , Molly has to team up with the equally strange boy in her class, Pim, to try to save her mother. Along the way she redefines friendships, realizes what matters most to her, and finds a strength in herself (and her strangeness) that she never knew she had. This is quirky and adorable and has some fun characters and good messages along with some fantasy elements (magical potions) and some really lovely writing: "Molly's problem was a tiny dot in the night. And if you joined up all those dots, it would make the big, inexplicable shape of lives being lived. Lives went in all ways. Life was a jagged dance of joys and sorrows, up and then down and sometimes in knots or jolts or dizzying rushes over or around again." The "voice" of Molly as our narrator is charming and really draws you right into the story from page one. There are little drawings scattered throughout (mostly of Molly's dog and cat) and at the end a short "notebook" of Molly's thoughts on a few herbs, animals and things like the stars. Anything you didn’t like about it? Molly's neighbors are a bit overly caricatures of Evil People and some might mistake the fun cover to mean the story is a bit like a travel-adventure when it is all distinctly a non-voyage-tale. To whom would you recommend this book? (Read-alikes if you can think of them) Readers who love a bit of magic in their stories of friendship and good family relationships will love this. FTC Disclosure: The Publisher provided me with a copy of this book to provide an honest review. No goody bags, sponsorship, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    What a treat this import from Australia was! Ten-year-old Molly is at that age where she wants to be like everyone else, not understanding that being "normal," whatever that is, and blending in have their disadvantages. It's just that her mother, who is a herbalist and concocts various potions for what ails you, is so different, and Molly doesn't want to stand out in that way. When her mother accidentally turns into a beautiful tree, Molly is left to her own devices, along with her dog Maude and What a treat this import from Australia was! Ten-year-old Molly is at that age where she wants to be like everyone else, not understanding that being "normal," whatever that is, and blending in have their disadvantages. It's just that her mother, who is a herbalist and concocts various potions for what ails you, is so different, and Molly doesn't want to stand out in that way. When her mother accidentally turns into a beautiful tree, Molly is left to her own devices, along with her dog Maude and cat Claudine. Unable to turn to her best friend Ellen with her worries, Molly enlists the help of Pim Wilder, another classmate who is interested in things that are different and doesn't question her story. Together, they come up with some possible solutions to her mother's plight, and along with Ellen, face down a threat from her grouchy neighbors to cut down that tree. The story is told gently and honestly, and readers will believe in the magic that seems to surround her mother. Naturally, at the book's conclusion, Molly realizes that it is fine to be exactly the way she is. Like the stars that shine above Molly and her mother, each person has something worth noticing and something that makes them shine and stand out from all the rest. Why would we ever want to hide that light or change that person to a dimmer wattage? The book has plenty of lessons and realizations for readers and was just the right book for me to read right now.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kylie Purdie

    What an absolute gem of a book! Molly would love to be normal like her friend Ellen. Ellen's lunch box has sandwiches and snacks in packs, (Molly's is full of home made snacks) and her house is new, with shiny surfaces and a mum who dresses in normal clothes and does normal things (Molly's house looks like a gypsy caravan, her mum wears floaty clothes and collects herbs and weeds) However, when Molly's mum turns into a tree, it's up to Molly to work out how to turn her back, how to stop the neig What an absolute gem of a book! Molly would love to be normal like her friend Ellen. Ellen's lunch box has sandwiches and snacks in packs, (Molly's is full of home made snacks) and her house is new, with shiny surfaces and a mum who dresses in normal clothes and does normal things (Molly's house looks like a gypsy caravan, her mum wears floaty clothes and collects herbs and weeds) However, when Molly's mum turns into a tree, it's up to Molly to work out how to turn her back, how to stop the neighbours from cutting her down and how to help Ellen as well. In the end, with the help of Pim, Molly works out not being "normal" isn't so bad after all. This is a book that celebrates differences, promotes acceptance and demonstrates not everything is as it seems. I love the descriptions of the Mama tree and how Molly's mama continues to look after her even though she is a tree! I love Pim's total acceptance of what Molly tells him and his determination to help her. Molly and Pim and the Million Stars is a lovely, whimsical story with beautiful fantasy elements interwoven into a story that holds many gems. It truly deserves it's place on the Australian Children's Book Council 2016 Younger Readers short list.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    I can't wait to share this with so many readers. There are so many gem to ponder. "Well, I don't believe, but I don't not believe either. And I like not knowing better than knowing." "Maybe Molly should start her own red notebook, take care of her knowledge. Knowledge was valuable, after all." Molly's birthday note from her mom: "My dear Little Pump, Here is my advice for my new ten-year old. You who are made of stars. Build a house inside yourself. In it put that sweet little self of yours. Be kin I can't wait to share this with so many readers. There are so many gem to ponder. "Well, I don't believe, but I don't not believe either. And I like not knowing better than knowing." "Maybe Molly should start her own red notebook, take care of her knowledge. Knowledge was valuable, after all." Molly's birthday note from her mom: "My dear Little Pump, Here is my advice for my new ten-year old. You who are made of stars. Build a house inside yourself. In it put that sweet little self of yours. Be kind and gentle to it. When there is a storm, don't fight, just surrender to it from inside your little house. Let the wild weather take you where it will. Welcome all the mysteries, uncertainties, and doubts that life will throw at you with all the wildness of a raging storm. And keep exploring. You, my brave little love." "Molly listened to the night. What should I do now? she wondered. Wondering was very different from thinking. Thinking always looked of answers. It was like folding the question up and putting it in a the box it fitted into best. But wondering was like going for a walk without a destination in mind." And there are so many more. This book sparkles and shines!

  15. 5 out of 5

    ck

    ARC courtesy publisher via Amazon Vine program Sweet and Deep and Wondrous Middle school can be tough, whether or not you are a bookworm and a daydreamer -- and sometimes it is especially tough if you are. In Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars, author Martine Murray wraps her readers in a story about a girl who is learning to find her way in a world that can be challenging and wondrous. Murray conveys Molly's journey with empathy, and empowers her with the ability to come up with ways to under ARC courtesy publisher via Amazon Vine program Sweet and Deep and Wondrous Middle school can be tough, whether or not you are a bookworm and a daydreamer -- and sometimes it is especially tough if you are. In Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars, author Martine Murray wraps her readers in a story about a girl who is learning to find her way in a world that can be challenging and wondrous. Murray conveys Molly's journey with empathy, and empowers her with the ability to come up with ways to understand the world around her, and to make peace with her ways of thinking and doing and seeing. Molly is a credibly strong character with doubts and dreams, and while the story arc is rather dreamy at times, it has a backbone that likely will prove satisfying to target readers. This is a book my sixth-grade self would have read and reread so many times that the spine would've cracked from wear. Here's a hint of storyteller Murray at work. "Thinking always looked for answers," Molly notes. "But wondering was like going for a walk without a destination in mind."

  16. 5 out of 5

    Camille Caliman

    I would give this more than 5 stars if I could. This has become my favorite book to date, seriously. The way this story was told was amazing. It felt so fresh and so calmly reflective. It's magical and heartfelt. The way the book flowed was wonderful as well. The entire time I felt so light and stuffs. I just let go a lot of emotional baggage recently and it was really cool to see Molly let some things go while I was letting things go as well. The ending left me with a happy feeling and a feelin I would give this more than 5 stars if I could. This has become my favorite book to date, seriously. The way this story was told was amazing. It felt so fresh and so calmly reflective. It's magical and heartfelt. The way the book flowed was wonderful as well. The entire time I felt so light and stuffs. I just let go a lot of emotional baggage recently and it was really cool to see Molly let some things go while I was letting things go as well. The ending left me with a happy feeling and a feeling of being free to be me. I don't know if you'll actually read this Miss Martine Murray, but thank you so much for this book. It's truly a work of art.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Oh my god SO cute. Shortlisted for the CBCA Awards but unfortunately not a winner. Boo. Molly wishes her mum was normal. She's very self concious about her lunches consisting of fresh fruit instead of packaged museli bars. While her mother should be baking and ironing, instead she roams the woods looking for herbs to use in her potions. When a potion gas unexpected results, Molly finds herself all alone - except for a dog, a cat, and Pim the strange boy at school - she realises how much she loves Oh my god SO cute. Shortlisted for the CBCA Awards but unfortunately not a winner. Boo. Molly wishes her mum was normal. She's very self concious about her lunches consisting of fresh fruit instead of packaged museli bars. While her mother should be baking and ironing, instead she roams the woods looking for herbs to use in her potions. When a potion gas unexpected results, Molly finds herself all alone - except for a dog, a cat, and Pim the strange boy at school - she realises how much she loves her mother's unusual qualities, and must embrace them to get her back.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Joanna Galluzzo

    This book was great! Molly's adventures sound scary and fun at the same time. This book was great! Molly's adventures sound scary and fun at the same time.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sadia Nusrat

    full of wisdom and made me cry

  20. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

    “…today is a prickly day….Molly flexed her toes to let them know she would soon be depending on them. Everything was bound to be in a contrary way this morning; even her toes might misbehave” Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars is a novel by Australian author and illustrator, Martine Murray. The audio version is read by Kerry Armstrong. Molly lives in a house with her mama, Claudine the cat and Maudie the black-and-white collie dog. They live next to Ernest and Prudence Grimshaw, staunch, zip “…today is a prickly day….Molly flexed her toes to let them know she would soon be depending on them. Everything was bound to be in a contrary way this morning; even her toes might misbehave” Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars is a novel by Australian author and illustrator, Martine Murray. The audio version is read by Kerry Armstrong. Molly lives in a house with her mama, Claudine the cat and Maudie the black-and-white collie dog. They live next to Ernest and Prudence Grimshaw, staunch, zipped-up, sneering people who are always complaining. Their latest gripe is about being woken by the early-morning crowing of mama and Milly’s rooster, the Gentleman. Molly loves her mama, but she wishes she were a bit more normal, like her best friend, Ellen’s mama, who lives in a normal house, drives a normal car and puts apricot muesli bars in Ellen’s lunchbox. Molly’s mama collects wild herbs at dawn, rides a yellow bike with two seats and tries to solve the problem of the complainers in an original way. But something goes a bit wrong, and suddenly, Molly’s mama is a tree. The mama tree is beautiful and different (just like Molly’s mama), with strange and delicious fruit, but it doesn’t cook. And while eating as many chocolate cashew balls as she wants for dinner is nice, Molly longs for mama’s black-eyed pea autumn stew. Molly is afraid to tell Ellen what has happened: Ellen might be horrified and might not want to be her friend. But when Pim Wilder comes along, Molly thinks he might be able to help: “Pim was like a walk in the woods at dusk: full of darkness and brightness both at once, he was restless and unfitting, pouncing on ideas and lifting them out of the dark. Pim’s world was the mysterious world of owls, stars, animals and earth” Murray gives the reader a truly delightful tale and adorns her text with charming illustrations, and Imogen Stubbs has provided a sparkling cover. Molly, her mama and her friends have words of wisdom and insightful observations. Murray’s descriptive prose is often lovely: “The world was never completely still and quiet, but the night had a special sort of hushed activity. Things rustled and seemed hidden within the blackness, and it was as if dreams bloomed like shadows and escaped from their moorings and grew in momentous, invisible ways”. Ultimately, Molly learns: “Everyone has their own world: you, me, Pim Wilder, everyone. We’re all like little stars, shining as hard as we can, with our own particular kind of light”. A magical read. 4.5★s

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cayleigh Stickler

    It's rare I give a book five stars, so what made this one so special? Quite simply, the language. I took so long to read this, even though it's less than two-hundred pages, because I wanted to savor the words on the page. I can't wait to get my hands on another book by this author. So, this is a book about Molly, a girl who tries to do anything she can to blend in with the crowd. (What kid at her age didn't want to fit in?) The problem is that her mom is what society likes to call a hippy-granol It's rare I give a book five stars, so what made this one so special? Quite simply, the language. I took so long to read this, even though it's less than two-hundred pages, because I wanted to savor the words on the page. I can't wait to get my hands on another book by this author. So, this is a book about Molly, a girl who tries to do anything she can to blend in with the crowd. (What kid at her age didn't want to fit in?) The problem is that her mom is what society likes to call a hippy-granola mom, and, let me be honest, I'm kind of like that too. Anyway, her mother is all about foraging for plants to make all kinds of potions and concoctions, and it kind of sounds like she's an herbalist, which is pretty neat. While making a potion to make a tree grow, her mother accidentally drinks the potion and turns into the tree. And so begins Molly's adventure. Pim, an eccentric boy in her class, gets tangled in the adventure and helps Molly embrace herself. It blends a coming-of-age tale with magical realism beautifully. Here's one of my favorite lines: "Wondering was very different from thinking. Thinking always looked for answers. It was like folding the question up and putting it in the box it fitted into best. But wondering was like going for a walk without a destination in mind." The author captures childlike wonder, curiosity, and naivety, and she displays it on the page. Even though the book is geared toward the younger crowd, there are tidbits of wisdom for adults too. I often found myself nodding my head and smiling when Molly would learn something new about life, wishing I had stumbled upon this sooner. For example, another favorite quote: "Imagine if you were never scared of falling, how much higher you might climb, she thought. Or, if you weren't afraid of being clumsy and awkward, how much more gracefully you might dance." The book inspired me to be my truest and most authentic self, and that's not too bad for a middle-grade novel.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*

    Murray, Martine Molly & Pim and the Millions of Stars, 181 pgs. Alfred A. Knopf, 2017. $16.99. Language: G (0 "swears"); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG. Molly is embarrassed that her mother is nothing like normal mothers; she wears crazy clothes, spends her time gathering herbs and flowers, and regularly creates a variety of potions from her findings. Molly tries to keep her mother's eccentricities from the kids at school, but one day her mom accidentally turns herself into a tree and Molly nee Murray, Martine Molly & Pim and the Millions of Stars, 181 pgs. Alfred A. Knopf, 2017. $16.99. Language: G (0 "swears"); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG. Molly is embarrassed that her mother is nothing like normal mothers; she wears crazy clothes, spends her time gathering herbs and flowers, and regularly creates a variety of potions from her findings. Molly tries to keep her mother's eccentricities from the kids at school, but one day her mom accidentally turns herself into a tree and Molly needs help. She ends up confiding in a boy who is a little odd himself--Pim--and finds a friend she did not expect. As she seeks a solution to bring her mother back, Molly realizes the need to be true to herself and comes to understand that being normal is not for everyone! I really enjoyed this fun and magical story for upper elementary and middle readers. The magic implicit in the story is great in that it seems to come from a realistic place; the book reads more as realistic fiction rather than fantasy. It has a simple coming-of-age story and a great message about being original and true to yourself. The PG violence rating is due to a conflict that occurs between the kids and some grumpy neighbors and a short physical fight actually ensues. The back of the book includes Molly's own herb notebook with explanations about some of her favorite herbs and flowers. EL, MS--ADVISABLE. Reviewer: TC http://kissthebook.blogspot.com/2017/...

  23. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    “I love acorns. I have always loved them. Because they come from oak trees and because they wear hats. No other seeds that I know of wear hats.” “I like to see myself as a warrior and a healer all at once. Best to be brave and wise; otherwise, courage can become just foolish and you end up being a show-off.” This was a really enjoyable novel for young readers. Molly’s character was determined, smart, independent and willing to learn and ask for help. Her mom’s creativity and knowledge were so inte “I love acorns. I have always loved them. Because they come from oak trees and because they wear hats. No other seeds that I know of wear hats.” “I like to see myself as a warrior and a healer all at once. Best to be brave and wise; otherwise, courage can become just foolish and you end up being a show-off.” This was a really enjoyable novel for young readers. Molly’s character was determined, smart, independent and willing to learn and ask for help. Her mom’s creativity and knowledge were so interesting, and the settings around their home and neighborhood were charming. The plot was different and compelling, and contained: an absent father, a strong single mom, lots of interesting natural/herbal remedies, learning about friendship ups and downs, some fantastical elements, and a first crush. All handled really deftly and sweetly by Martine Murray. Would be a great read for a kid who loves nature or magic or adventures 👍

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dierdre

    Delightful, sweet story of Molly, who wishes to be in a normal family, like her best friend, Ellen. Molly's mom gathers herbs and makes mysterious potions, her father disappeared in Cuba and her older brothers left to find him. They ride a bike to school and have pets that include a rooster. She has a fascination with a free-spirited boy at school, Pim, for his lack of concern of what others may think of him. One of her mother's potions has an extreme consequence and Molly learns a lot about her Delightful, sweet story of Molly, who wishes to be in a normal family, like her best friend, Ellen. Molly's mom gathers herbs and makes mysterious potions, her father disappeared in Cuba and her older brothers left to find him. They ride a bike to school and have pets that include a rooster. She has a fascination with a free-spirited boy at school, Pim, for his lack of concern of what others may think of him. One of her mother's potions has an extreme consequence and Molly learns a lot about her friendships and her relationship with her mother. This was a delightful book. I enjoyed the author's style of writing and the cute doodle-like illustrations. Since this book is Australian, there may be some things U.S. readers will not recognize, but would be great for learning common things in another country.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kate Forsyth

    This is a small but enchanting book about a girl named Molly whose mother accidentally changes herself into a tree. Molly is left alone to fend for herself, but discovers that she has more friends than she realised. I loved the character of Molly, who thought she just wanted to be ordinary but discovers that being herself is better. I also loved her fey and eccentric mother, who wanders the garden and woods looking for ingredients for magical potions, and Molly’s two friends, Ellen (whose normal This is a small but enchanting book about a girl named Molly whose mother accidentally changes herself into a tree. Molly is left alone to fend for herself, but discovers that she has more friends than she realised. I loved the character of Molly, who thought she just wanted to be ordinary but discovers that being herself is better. I also loved her fey and eccentric mother, who wanders the garden and woods looking for ingredients for magical potions, and Molly’s two friends, Ellen (whose normal life with a normal family is envied by Molly) and Pim (who is anything but normal). Each character is deftly and vividly drawn, and there is a charming mix of humour, whimsy and poignancy. Glorious.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Molly has an odd mother, who goes foraging in the forest for useful plants, but Molly would rather have a family like her best friend Emily, who is normal. Simple yet lovely language as Molly faces a dreadful problem, and maybe the strange boy Pim can listen understandingly and help. The story could easily be a fairytale with its strange elements (Molly's mom accidentally turns into a tree!) and unpleasant neighbors to be vanquished and a moral (it's okay to be different). Pencil drawings of pla Molly has an odd mother, who goes foraging in the forest for useful plants, but Molly would rather have a family like her best friend Emily, who is normal. Simple yet lovely language as Molly faces a dreadful problem, and maybe the strange boy Pim can listen understandingly and help. The story could easily be a fairytale with its strange elements (Molly's mom accidentally turns into a tree!) and unpleasant neighbors to be vanquished and a moral (it's okay to be different). Pencil drawings of plants and their pet dog, cat and rooster are sprinkled throughout. Give this to a thoughtful 2-4th grader who likes to wonder about things.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cornmaven

    Nice coming of age story about a girl with a hippie herbalist mother who longs to belong to a "normal" family, and have different hair as well. But then when her mother turns into a tree, she learns that some kids feel stifled within such a family and want to be like her. I liked the characters and the storyline. Favorite line: "Sometimes, she told herself, you can't figure things out, you just have to live them out." Wonderful, wise words for kids who are struggling with their realities. My only Nice coming of age story about a girl with a hippie herbalist mother who longs to belong to a "normal" family, and have different hair as well. But then when her mother turns into a tree, she learns that some kids feel stifled within such a family and want to be like her. I liked the characters and the storyline. Favorite line: "Sometimes, she told herself, you can't figure things out, you just have to live them out." Wonderful, wise words for kids who are struggling with their realities. My only negative was the cover choice - I do not think kids will gravitate towards it, unfortunately. The paperback cover is much nicer, but even that is not as inviting as it could have been.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Earl

    I had no desire of reading this but I'm so glad I did. It was immediately engaging. This would make for a great read-aloud reminiscent of The Secret Garden. It celebrates family, friendship, and individuality. Molly's mother has accidentally turned herself into a tree. She feels she can't turn to her best friend for help because she's too practical and might not believe Molly. The only person she can turn to seems to be the odd boy in school- Pim. Together, they'll have to find the right magic to I had no desire of reading this but I'm so glad I did. It was immediately engaging. This would make for a great read-aloud reminiscent of The Secret Garden. It celebrates family, friendship, and individuality. Molly's mother has accidentally turned herself into a tree. She feels she can't turn to her best friend for help because she's too practical and might not believe Molly. The only person she can turn to seems to be the odd boy in school- Pim. Together, they'll have to find the right magic to make turn everything back to normal. But is normal something Molly wants? Nature and pet lovers will enjoy this whimsical tale from Australia!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    I will admit that about a third of the way through this book I was thinking the main plot was plain stupid (not that I think kids will; I am, after all, an adult reading children's literature). I continued reading and have to say that I truly love this book and will be putting it into the hands of every kid I can. The message of hope and acceptance of yourself and others is just what I needed and what I think every child does as well. Bravo!! I will admit that about a third of the way through this book I was thinking the main plot was plain stupid (not that I think kids will; I am, after all, an adult reading children's literature). I continued reading and have to say that I truly love this book and will be putting it into the hands of every kid I can. The message of hope and acceptance of yourself and others is just what I needed and what I think every child does as well. Bravo!!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

    Molly's family is different f and all that Molly has ever wanted was to be like everyone else. Normal. One day,a mistake turns her mother in to a tree and the journey to turn her mother back, teaches her that being different is okay. Being has its place. This is book short, but filled with a magical punch. Molly's family is different f and all that Molly has ever wanted was to be like everyone else. Normal. One day,a mistake turns her mother in to a tree and the journey to turn her mother back, teaches her that being different is okay. Being has its place. This is book short, but filled with a magical punch.

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