Sharon Creech is the author of several books for children and young adults and has won, or been shortlisted for, nearly every major literary award for children's books, both in the USA and UK, as well as selling the world over. Most recently, she won the Carnegie Medal for outstanding children's literature with her novel Ruby Holler. Sharon is an American who lived in England for nineteen years. She now lives in New Jersey, USA, with her husband.
Gr 5-8-In Sharon Creech's Bloomability (HarperCollins, 1998), Domenica Santolina Doone, known as Dinnie, finds herself far from home and among strangers. At the beginning of this first person narrative, Dinnie tells us she has been kidnapped and taken to Switzerland by her aunt and uncle. It is an "opportunity," but in Dinnie's nomadic family, "opportunity" is a loaded word that means you may have to pick up and leave at any moment. Suddenly Dinnie has some stability, but at the same time everything is strange and she is not sure where to turn. Creech, through Dinnie's voice, makes the theme fresh and interesting. Actress Bonnie Hurren makes Dinnie's family, friends, and humor come alive. We follow along as she makes new friends, learns Italian, and waits anxiously for letters from home. Dinnie has great adventures in Switzerland. At her uncle's boarding school, she meets a cross section of American, Asian, Middle Eastern and European students. Hurren does an especially good job providing voices for Dinnie's two aunts and their hilarious postcards. Dinnie's blooming and self-discovery are realistic and enjoyable. This audiobook will appeal mostly to girls.-Suzanne Libra, Huron Middle School, Northglenn, CO Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
A light first-person narrative and some insightful dream flashes (taken from the protagonist's journal) convey an uprooted 13-year-old's coming of age. Domenica Santolina Doone ("It's a mouthful, so most people call me Dinnie"), whose father is always in search of "the right opportunity," has already lived in 12 different cities. With her father on the road, her older brother Crick in jail and her 16-year-old sister, Stella, giving birth, it's little surprise that Dinnie is "kidnapped" by her aunt and uncle and taken from her "little New Mexico hill town" to the American School in Lugano, Switzerland, where the pair work. Tired of always being on the move, Dinnie is determined not to get attached to her newest environment ("I won't adjust! I won't adapt! I won't! I'll rebel!"), but surrounded by other "foreigners"‘students from all corners of the world‘she finds it easier than she had imagined to make friends. Guthrie, a classmate, helps her see a sense of possibility, or "bloomability," and to grow from her experiences. Creech (Walk Two Moons) skims the surface of Dinnie's gradual emergence from her protective "bubble" rather than delving into Dinnie's feelings about the deeper ramifications of her family's unraveling. The author tells rather than shows the poignant moments (e.g., Dinnie has no reaction when her parents forget her on Christmas; her friend Lila's vacillating moods go unexplained), which results in a reportlike view of the school year, rather than insight into the purported change in Dinnie. Some readers wishing to glimpse an adventure abroad may think this is just the ticket; however, fans of the author's previous works will likely miss her more fully realized characters. Ages 8-12. (Sept.)