The Wondrous Prune

Ellie Clements’s novel The Wondrous Prune is about moving to a new town, which means entering a new school, and it’s a story full of relatable characters feeling understandably anxious and excited at the prospect of inevitable life changes.

The young protagonist, Prune Melinda Robinson (as she proudly tells us within the first line), is keen to retell her fantastic journey through the first-person narrative. Trying to cope with being bullied and attempting to be brave for her mother, Prune is a wonderful character, determined yet fallible.

Clements’s use of the first-person narrative device is successful as it affords her readers the opportunity to completely immerse themselves in Prune’s story. There is also a marvellous and playful sense of fantasy and mystery in this book – as an artistic young girl, Prune has to deal with the otherworldly phenomenon of her drawings coming to life, which sets up the novel’s main driving point.

For young readers, the ability to make true your innermost desires, things you dream up – or, in Prune’s case, doodle – is an inviting prospect. Throughout, Clements explores heavy themes of familial love, yearning to fit in and understanding that all actions have consequences. It is an easy read that will have young readers yearning for Prune’s abilities, and the side characters are all identifiable and relatable.

Book Cover - The Wondrous Prune
Publication Date
May 2022