Molly and Pim and the Million Stars by Martine Murray.
A novel for primary/intermediate students that is very different indeed. I suppose the correct word is alternative as Molly’s mother is into herbs and potions and gathering plants in the woods. She has a herbal remedy for everything but one day she gets it terribly wrong.
Molly and her mum have neighbours from hell who clearly misunderstand Molly and her mother. They are called Grimshaw and we first meet him thundering down the hill to complain about their rooster like a boulder rolling downhill. The rooster know as the Gentleman celebrates every dawn and the Grimshaw’s are driven to distraction. How Molly and her mother solve this problem is extraordinary.
Molly has a friend named Ellen who has a mum who gives her apricot bars wrapped in plastic for her lunch. Molly wishes she had an ordinary life too. Then Molly meets Pim, a different boy who has quirky but positive behaviour.
It is Pim that Molly turns to after her mother inadvertently changes into a tree while trying to block the Grimshaws out of their sight. Can they get mother back?
Molly has an obedient dog and a cat who should have staff named Martine. When things go wrong they are there but are they helpful?
Lovely language, short easy to read chapters and a great theme of difference.