Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Ella Minnow Pea #atozchallenge

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If you're looking for a fun read with lots of great words and word play, do check out Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn. 

I read this book several years ago, when my mom shared it with me. She'd read it with her book club. I will be honest: I didn't know what to expect. I don't like very many of the books her book club reads. This one, though, was so good, I kept her copy. 

The book is set on the fictional, autonomous island of Nollop, located off the coast of South Carolina. The island was named for Nevin Nollop, the man who authored the pangram "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog," in this fictional world. The people of the island have a statue of Neville Nollop, with his famous pangram sentence on the bottom of it. They place a lot of importance on the written word. The book is written as a set of letters between Ella Minnow Pea and her cousin, Tassie, with occasional correspondence from their parents or the Council (the governing body of the Island). 

All is well on the island until letter tiles begin falling off the statue. The Council decides that it must be a sign from Mr. Nollop himself, and so they pass laws that people must stop using the letters, both in speech and writing. Even books in libraries containing these letters have to be removed. If someone is caught using one of the illegal letters, they have a choice between being exiled from the island or beheading. Sounds perfectly reasonable, no? I loved reading the correspondence as people were forced to be more and more creative to get their points across without using specific letters of the alphabet.

I giggled as I re-read this bit on the suggested replacements for names of the days of the week, upon  the loss of the letter "D":
For Sunday, please use Sunshine
For Monday, please use Monty
For Tuesday, please use Toes
For Wednesday, please use Wetty
For Thursday, please use Thurby
For Friday, please use Fribs
For Saturday, please use Satto-gatto (p. 70)
I close this post here, which you will read on Wetty, the thir of April, two thousan sixteen. 


  1. I love the alternative names for the days of the week! This sounds like a great book, and I love anything set in South Carolina (my husband's family lives there, and we would love to move down there at some point). Thanks for stopping by!

    Life Before the Hereafter

  2. Oh my goodness, you are ambitious. This challenge will require a library of books! Nice to meet you fellow A to Z participant!

  3. Megan, I know you'd enjoy it! I hope you get a chance to read it.

  4. Sadie, the problem is not finding 26 books, but narrowing down the choices! :-D