A picture book with detailed imagery that captures the sensitive and complex themes it broaches, “Aunt Pearl” tells the story of an aunt named Pearl, who arrives at her sister’s door with all her worldly possessions contained in a shopping cart. The story highlights how Pearl’s behaviour is considered strange, as she considers garbage treasure and frequents garbage dumps in search of it—a practice her sister disapproves of. It is a story about homelessness and family, exploring the disparity in socioeconomic status between the “haves” and the “have-nots.” Particularly suitable for students in the Grade 3–5 level, it may prepare readers to think critically about the sensitive topics introduced. In the classroom, the story may invite discussions about family relationships, support, and acceptance.
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