Mark Dunn’s realistic fiction novel narrates the life of Ella Minnow Pea through letters as she tries to survive on her dystopian-like island run by a tyrannical council. Ella lives on the fictional island of Nollop, named after Nevin Nollop, the author of the sentence “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” A statue of Nollop with his famous sentence engraved on tiles resides in the town. When tiles, each bearing one letter begin to fall, the heads of the island; the Council, takes it as a sign from Nollop’s ghost to eliminate all use of the fallen letters. Members of the island must avoid using the fallen letters or face severe punishment. Ella and many others in the community must write a sentence containing all letters of the alphabet that is less than 32 letters to save their island from complete desolation. Along with its witty title, this book is brilliantly crafted to entice word lovers as Dunn slowly eliminates letters from his writing yet continues to clearly convey his story.
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