Molly’s mother is not like other mothers: she rides a yellow bike and collects herbs and makes potions, perhaps even magical potions. Molly wants to be normal, like her friend Ellen, and watch television and eat food that comes in packets. But when Molly’s mother accidentally turns herself into a tree, Molly turns to the strange and wonderful Pim for help. And as they look for a way to rescue her mother, Molly discovers how to be happy with the oddness in her life.
Martine Murray’s new illustrated middle-grade novel Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars is a whimsical story about friendship and individuality and learning to see the freshness and wonder in the world.
I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling nostalgic towards my childhood days — afternoons filled with sunshine and running through sprinklers, icy poles dripping onto the sand at the beach and running through parks playing make-believe with friends for hours on end. While I’ve undeniably forgotten some of the harder aspects of childhood that we all deal with, such as worrying about not fitting in and finding the right people to be friends with, Molly and Pim propelled me back to that time and allowed me to relive my own experiences growing up and dealing with troubles and building a foundation for my life that ultimately led me to where I am today. It’s also nice to take a step back from Young Adult fiction from time to time and distance yourself from stories about high school and trying to figure out who you really are, which is basically the bane of my existence at the moment, and settle into a magical tale that will leave you recommending it to all readers, regardless of their age.
I honestly believe that some of the best middle-grade novels are magic realism, or contain magical or supernatural elements, because I love experiencing these wonders through the eyes of someone a little younger than I am and who treats the problem in a different way than a typical YA hero or heroine would — and Molly and Pim was no exception. I was just whisked away in this tale of potions and trees and a strong mother-daughter bond that left me with a wistful longing to immerse myself in more stories like that one. It was beautifully-written, heart-warming, and simply a really great read. After loving Molly and Pim, it’s undisputed that I’ll be reading more middle-grade novels in the near future.
Short and Sweet
Because Molly and Pim is middle-grade, it’s a short read that won’t take longer than a couple of hours, but it definitely left me wanting more. It’s such a gorgeous story that I devoured it in one sitting, marvelling in the beauty of small little sketches that were dotted intermittently throughout the novel and the lyrical way the paragraphs were weaved together, presenting a book that was equally satisfying to admire and immerse yourself in. Molly and Pim is the type of novel that would be perfect to read in between draining, long YA novels that take a lot of concentration to get through, on a spare afternoon, or even to get you out of a slump. The captivating story and the loveable characters that will remind you of people you knew when you were the age of the characters is sure to sweep you off your feet.
Ultimately, it’s certain that I need to read more middle-grade novels because I utterly adored being transported to this magical world of finding out who you really are and leaning to navigate through life, which are themes readers of all ages can relate to. If you love slightly nostalgic, compelling reads, then you should definitely pick up a copy of Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars.
Do you read much middle-grade fiction? What are some of your favourite middle-grade novels? Do you enjoy reading novels that are either nostalgic of your youth or a time when you grew up? I’d love to hear what you think!
Thanks to Text Publishing for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!