BLOOM, by Nicola Skinner and Flavia Sorrentino, HarperCollins Children’s Books, March 16, 2021, Hardcover, $16.99 (ages 10 and up)
Nicola Skinner proves that growing up can be incredibly exciting in Bloom, a novel for middle readers that adults will find equally delightful.
Sorrel Fallowfield is so good at being good that teachers come to her when they need help remembering the school rules — and there are LOTS.
Luckily, Sorrel doesn’t have any trouble following them, until the day she discovers a faded packet of Surprising Seeds buried under a tree in her backyard.
Now she’s hearing voices, seeing things, experiencing an almost unstoppable urge to plant the Seeds in some very unusual places… and completely failing to win her school’s competition to find The Most Obedient Child of the School.
And all that’s before flowers start growing out of her head… —Synopsis provided by HarperCollins Children’s Books
Bloom has a distinctly Roald Dahl-esque feel to it. Nicola Skinner’s quirky, often tongue-in-cheek prose practically flies off the pages. And Flavia Sorrentino’s floral illustrations add an extra dimension that truly benefits the story.
Bloom is one of those books you don’t know you needed to read until you’ve read it. It brings life and lightheartedness, as well as a positive message. It was fun to read to myself, and I can’t wait to read it aloud with my 7-year-old when she’s a bit older (I’d say more advanced 8- and 9-year-olds will get along just fine with this one).
Sorrel is a fascinating character study. Her journey is surprising and delightful. She’s the kind of kid you want to “root” for. The supporting characters are surprisingly well flushed out considering their minor roles.
Bloom is a fast-moving, enjoyable read that will, for many, become a book that gets read multiple times.
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