“It’s hard being different and being the only one who isn’t like everybody else.”
Ten-year-old Essie Rose Ginsberg, writer, loner, and all-time worrier, is the only Jewish girl in Tipton, Mississippi in 1953. Her hopes for a happy-go-lucky summer vanish when she discovers a cryptic note left by Pearlie May Gibbs, the family’s housekeeper and Essie Rose’s one-and-only friend.
Now Essie Rose must spend her entire summer deciphering her friend’s message, figuring out how to “get on with her business” and make her Pearlie May proud.
Essie Rose’s business soon includes reading Charlotte’s Web to her new friend Moses Brownridge, visiting Daddy’s store on the wrong side of the tracks, and entering an essay contest lauding Pearlie May and her Half Dozen Words of Wisdom in the local Centennial Writing Contest.
When mean girls bully her, troublemakers vandalize Daddy’s store, and her contest entry is jeopardized because Pearlie May is not a Caucasian, Essie Rose’s worries become reality.
The Fourth of July comes and goes without Pearlie May’s return. Will she make it home in time for Essie Rose’s 11th birthday? Will the Ginsbergs remain in Tipton, or will increasing discrimination and danger finally force them to return up North? Essie Rose captures it all for us in her Writer’s Notebook.
A moving, multi-layered, and meticulously researched story of loneliness and loyalty, bullying and friendship, loss and courage.
“For readers of this book, Deanie has provided a life plan for encountering and overcoming obstacles, whether schoolwork or relationships. She’s shown the reader that a child of a different color, gender or religion can be just as powerful…a road map for critical thinking skills for the student.”
—Mary Guess Flamer, Ed.D., Former Title I Coordinator, NJ Department of Education
“[A] phenomenal book…beautifully framed…excellent conversation starter. [A] worthwhile read that will inspire and educate young and old alike.” —Rabbi Raysh Weiss, Yardley, PA
“An emotionally moving and well-researched story about a young girl discovering her inner courage to do what is right. Pearlie May’s Half Dozen Words is wisdom for the ages.”
—Jennifer Sirak – Children’s Librarian, New York Times Librarian Award recipient
“A beautiful testament to the resourcefulness and resilience of children…[A] heartfelt and heartwarming story about love, loss, and identity, engrossing for both child and adult readers alike. — Sunny Greenberg, PhD, Clinical Psychologist
- For those who love stories about children whose courage and abilities change their world
- Historical fiction based on the author’s own experience growing up in the 1950s Jim Crow South
- Explores themes of diversity, segregation, coming-of-age struggles, bullying, friendship and loyalty, courage in the face of discrimination, finding your own voice, love, loss and grief
- Download: Deanie Yasner author picture (600 x 900 jpg)
- Download: Essie Rose’s Revelation Summer book cover (1500 x 2400 px .jpg)
- Download: Teachers’ Discussion Guide
- Download: Essie Rose’s Revelation Summer fact sheet
- Download: Classroom Activity Pages including Pearlie May Gibbs’ Half Dozen Words of Wisdom
- Download: Essie Rose Ginsburg’s Ten Tips for Writing
- Read an excerpt: Chapters 1-3
Age range: 8-12
Grade level: 3-6
August 2019 Publication