Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Blooming with Possibilities

Middle school in the Swiss Alps, now that's an irresistible setting!  In Bloomability by Sharon Creech, you follow eighth grader Domenica, (known as Dinnie by her friends) from New Mexico to a school located in breathtakingly beautiful Lugano, in the foothills of the Swiss Alps. Change is what happens in middle school, but for Dinnie, the change is amazing, big and wonderful. Creech is an author who writes well  for that in-between age, when you are no longer a kid and not quite a full-fledged teen. This book has been around for a while but still hits the spot for a thoughtful, adventurous read.  You find that life for Dinnie before Switzerland has always meant moving from place to place as her eccentric but lovable father finds "new opportunities" every six months. At every new school she takes her sister's advice to expect the worst and dress plainly until she can find out what the norm is. When Dinnie's older brother ends up in jail and her teenage sister becomes pregnant and gets married, an uncle and aunt step in to give their niece a radically different experience.   In a school with students from all over the world and where everyone is different, Dinnie begins to trust herself and make good friends.  This is a story that doesn't get old.   For some great middle school reads, look for Creech's other acclaimed teen books, Walk Two Moons and Absolutely Normal Chaos.

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