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Sapphire the Great and the Meaning of Life

  • Author Name: Beverley Brenna
  • Award Year: 2021
  • Publisher: Pajama Press
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • ISBN: 13:978-1-77278-069-7

About the Book

Sapphire the Great and the Meaning of Life (2019) is a realistic/fantasy story told in two voices, with chapters appearing through nine-year-old Jeannie’s perspective as well as the voice of her unique and at times existentialist pet hamster. Jeannie hears again and again about her bad behavior but it’s something she can’t seem to control. Caring for a new hamster gets her thinking about behavior and how it’s always a response to something—and how people around you should JUST FOLLOW THE RULES. But when this doesn’t happen, and THE RULES get broken, Jeannie discovers that special friends can make you feel better, even when your world is falling apart. When your dad leaves and hasn’t come back. When your mom appears to be losing it. When all your brother wants to do is play video games. When your friend from school doesn’t like you anymore because you have a Trans woman in your kitchen making supper. And when you wish you could fix EVERYTHING but you CAN’T FIX ANYTHNG… a hamster can help. A special friend named Sapphire the Great who has been waiting, all along, to discover what greatness is all about. In Sapphire the Great and the Meaning of Life, readers will meet a collection of larger-than-life characters who, in the end, answer bigger questions for each other about acceptance and diversity. For ages 8 – 12.

About the Author

Beverley Brenna is a Saskatoon author of over a dozen books for young people. She is known for warm, funny family stories that capture the essence of childhood and champion diversity. Her awards include an international Dolly Gray Award, a Printz Honor Book Award, and a nomination for the Governor General's Award. Bev has been a teacher for many years--first in elementary and special education settings, and now at the University of Saskatchewan where she works with preservice and inservice teachers. Sapphire the Great and the Meaning of Life was written in consultation with OUTSaskatoon, an organization that supports LGBTQ2S+ people of all ages.

2021 Book Awards