The Date and time for this discussion have been changed! If this changes your attendance status, please update your RSVP. Thanks! For June, we will read Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn (recommended by Jaime). Dunn transports readers to the imaginary island of Nollop, named for Nevin Nollop, inventor of the pangram (a sentence using all letters of the alphabet) "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." It is an idyllic place, free from technological innovations like television and computers, where Nollopians devote themselves to the liberal arts and especially to the cultivation of language. But when a tile containing the letter "Z" falls from the monument the islanders have erected to honor Nollop and his illustrious sentence, a chain of events is set in motion which will threaten the very foundations of the Nollopian state. The High Island Council calls an emergency session to discuss the fallen letter and in it they see a sign and portent, a message from the great Nollop himself to cease all use of the letter "Z" in spoken and written communication. The Council passes a law against uttering words containing the letter; punishment for violating their strictures can lead to banishment and even death. And as further letters begin to fall, Ella Minnow Pea and her family, along with the rest of community, are forced to live under linguistic siege. Books are destroyed. Newspapers shut down. Citizens are publicly flogged, placed in stocks, their property confiscated and their lives ruined, all for slips of the tongue. But with the help of Nate Warren, a researcher living in South Carolina, the islanders decide to fight back, vowing to create a pangram even shorter and therefore more dazzling than the one for which Nollop has been elevated to divine status. The only question is: can they do it before all is lost?
This book also is also available in an illustrated version.