The Pearl Thief

by Elizabeth Wein

No one in her family is expecting Julia to come home from school for summer break... read more

No one in her family is expecting Julia to come home from school for summer break three days early. So no one thinks to worry when an unconscious girl is admitted to the local hospital. It’s Julia, who was hit on the head when she wandered down to the river after arriving home to an empty house. Identified after a few days, she has only spotty memories of the attack. As Julia struggles to remember, concern mounts over the disappearance of the professor who was cataloging historical items of her family’s estate, being sold to cover her late grandfather’s debts. And where are the river pearls that once filled the reliquary, a centuries-old wooden cup given to the family by the ancestors of Ellen and Euan McEwan? The McEwans are Travellers. Ellen and Euan were the ones who found unconscious Julia and took her to the hospital. Julia likes them. In fact, she finds herself liking standoffish Ellen a lot. Because they’re Travellers, the McEwans are suspect in many people’s minds, a prejudice that infuriates Julia, who’s confronted with her own social privilege as a result. This satisfying mystery tackles themes of class, prejudice, gender, and physical appearance, and will be of additional interest to fans of Code Name Verity, as it gives a glimpse of Julia’s life as a teenager in Scotland. (Age 13 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2018

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