Reader Reviewed The Book of Pearl by Timothee De Fombelle

The Book of Pearl

Written by Timothee De Fombelle

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

June 2016 Book of the Month

In a Nutshell: Timeless fairytale • Eternal love • Lyrical quest

An enchanting, beautifully written novel about how first love can shape one’s life.

Joshua Pearl is from another world but has been trapped in ours, where his own fairytale realm is no longer believed in. After being taken in by an old man, Joshua’s journey is shrouded in a dream-like quality as he tries to piece his life together. While plotting his escape, Joshua experiences fragmented memories; the fleeting strangeness of shadows and light; premonitions that make him fear that everything might vanish. Joshua has a passion for photography, for documenting what he sees, capturing moments in time, and he also recalls that his first subject was a girl he spotted on a boat. Then the old man says it's time for Joshua to go, that he knows about his sadness, and the girl. And so he leaves in search of his lost love, embarking on a yearning quest that sees him having to piece together fragments of his memory, and make sense of objects he finds.

This is a timeless and tender tale of love and longing by a celebrated author, and high praise must also go to the translators - Sarah Ardizzone and Sam Gordon - for their luminous rendering of this novel from the French original. ~ Joanne Owen

Reader Reviews

Teens & YA's love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our older Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Eloise Mae Clarkson, age 14 - 'The characters were so unique with all of their different mannerisms. I would rate this book five out of five stars.'
  • Humaira Kauser, age 18 - 'A work of art! Truly hard to put down!'
  • Rebekah Marsh, age 13 - 'The Book of Pearl is an endearing novel, portraying the key features of a wonderful young adult book. The story line is magical, leaving you to imagine yourself surrounded by mystical creatures.'
  • Edel Waugh - 'This is a sweet and tender story for all fans of a love story with a magical element to it.'
  • Amelie Chatham, age 13 - 'The Book of Pearl is a good book for people who like fantasy but also historical fiction.'
  • Khadijah Ahmed - 'The Book of Pearl is a modern fairytale with elements of the classics, filled with strange places, magical laws and intriguing mysteries.'


The Book of Pearl by Timothee De Fombelle

Shortlisted for the Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire 2015. A compelling story of a first love that defines a lifetime; perfect for fans of David Levithan, told with the intricate and beautiful writing style of bestselling author Timothee de Fombelle.

Joshua Pearl is from a world that our own no longer believes in. He knows that his great love is waiting for him in that distant place, but he is trapped in our time. As his memories begin to fade, he discovers strange objects, tiny fragments of a story from a long time ago. Can Joshua remember the past and believe in his own story before his love is lost for ever?


"Timothée's writing is exciting, unusual, and beautiful." David Almond

Praise for Vango, Book Two: "It is so beautifully wrought it reminds us why we love to read, and there can be no higher praise." Michael Cart, Booklist starred review

About the Author

Timothee De Fombelle

Timothée de Fombelle is a much-admired French playwright, as well as the author of award-winning fiction. His first series, Toby Alone and Toby Alone and the Secrets of the Tree has been printed in 27 languages and has won numerous awards including France’s prestigious Prix Sorcières and the Marsh Award. Timothée's adventure series, Vango, Book One: Between Sky and Earth and Vango, Book Two: A Prince Without a Kingdomreceived huge critical acclaim, and book one was granted an English Pen Award for translation. Timothee also contributed to the acclaimed collection The Great War: an Anthology of Stories Inspired by Objects from the First World War.

Timothée lives in Paris.

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Book Info


384 pages
Interest Age: From 12


Timothee De Fombelle
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Walker Books Ltd

Publication date

6th February 2016




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