Pear of Hope
EK Books, 2021
32pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99
At the bottom of Anna’s garden is an old pear tree that is her favourite place and secret hideout. She loves being up in its branches, where it gives life and shelter to all sorts of creatures and allows her imagination to wander. But as autumn and then winter roll in, it loses its magic and wonder, just as Anna does as she succumbs to a deadly illness. The tree stands bare and alone until one day Anna returns and gives it a soft hug. And together they start the journey back to wellness and fullness…
Using the pear as a symbol of hope, as it is in many parts of the world, this is a delicate story of a young girl’s battle with cancer and chemotherapy tracing Anna’s journey in its illustrations more than its words so the reader really focuses on the parallels between tree and child. Just as the tree loses it leaves in winter but returns to its full glory as the warmer weather returns, so does Anna’s hope and resilience build until she is back able to celebrate her 10th birthday with her friends and family, under the shelter of the pear tree.
While some of our students may be in Anna’s particular situation, there are many more who are facing other challenges and who need the reassurance that time will pass, and like the pear tree, they will prevail. So this is one to share and talk about so each can take what they need from it.