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‘This colourful, deeply moving saga of Poppy’s family is an utterly enthralling tale.’ Magpies

‘Let me tell you a story. A story about friendship and sisters, about grief and love and danger, and about growing up . . .’

When Chloe visits her grandmother, she learns how close war came to destroying her family. Could Poppy’s experiences help Chloe face her own problems?

In 1941, Poppy lives in Darwin, a peaceful paradise. But when Japan attacks Pearl Harbor and then Australia, everything Poppy holds dear is threatened. Terrified, she flees to Sydney – only to find that the danger follows her there. Poppy must face her war with courage and determination. Will her world ever be the same?


This colourful, deeply moving saga of Poppy’s family is an utterly enthralling tale with warm, well-rounded characters forging their difficult lives in this entertainingly executed tale. Forgive the cliché, but this is a “terrific yarn” for middle school readers.

Russ Merrin, Magpies

The best kind of books are the ones where closing the covers for the final time is like saying good-bye to a friend. The Forgotten Pearl left me with these feelings, the same emotions experienced by protagonist, Poppy Trehearn, as she is forced to bid farewell to family and friends when the terror of World War II strikes her beloved home town of Darwin.

Kate Mani, Viewpoint

A beautiful, insightful novel, reminding us of a bleak time in Australia’s history, but ultimately showing how Australians stuck together to protect themselves, and others.


Murrell's careful research and family anecdotes provide the backbone of a tale that is not only informative and enlightening, but enthralling. In Poppy, Murrell has created a character that will hopefully inspire young readers with her courage, kindness, resourcefulness, resilience, loving care and respect. If I were the mother of a maturing daughter, this is exactly the kind of book I would encourage her to read. I can't give it much higher praise than that.

Dani Colvin, Sunday Tasmanian

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    February 2, 2015

    Random House Australia Children's

    304 pages

    RRP $17.99

    Online retailers

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    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    June 1, 2012

    Random House Australia

    288 pages

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    • Amazon Kindle AU
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    • eBooks

Awards and Recognition

  • REAL Children's Choice Awards
    Older Readers
  • KOALA Children's Choice Awards
    Hall of Fame
  • REAL Children's Choice Awards
    Older Readers