05 August 2010

Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn

This is a re-read for me, which is a big deal! In fact, it just came to my attention that I've actually read it 3 times!

I loved this book! It is a very creative story told in letters. The letters are missives sent amongst the citizens  of the island of Nollop. Nollop was named for Nevin Nollop, the man who created the pangram sentence "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog."

The latest news is that letters have begun to fall off of the commemorative statue. The town council determines this to be evidence that Nollop, from the grave, is declaring that those letters should no longer be used by his people.

Ella is one of the central characters in the story. Epistles eventually become the only safe way to communicate with one another as the town council declares severe legal action against anyone who uses the forbidden letters. And so, as letters drop from the statue, so do they drop from the novel.

Dunn's choice to tell his story in this manner is a fresh and humorous way to look at the very serious subject of censorship.

*pangram: a sentence or phrase that includes all the letters of the alphabet '

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