Wednesday, March 30, 2011

ReRead: Bloomability

Last week Ashley, from Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing, wrote a fantastic post on Sharon Creech for her weekly Memory Monday feature. Creech, the author of Walk Two Moons and Ruby Holler , just happened to write one of my favorite books in middle school: Bloomability. My original copy of Bloomability didn't hold up to well to the constant reading, dropping in the bathtub and just wear and tear. I came across a copy yesterday at my local used bookstore and I just had to reread it and visit the wonderful story Creech has created.


Bloomability is the story of 13 year old Dinnie, whose nomadic father keeps her family on the constant moved. With their latest story in New Mexico Dinnie's family begins to fall apart--her brother Crick is in jail and her teenage sister eloped and is pregnant. Her mysterious Aunt Sandy and Uncle Max swoop down on their town and (as Dinnie puts it) kidnap her and run away to Switzerland. In actuality Max is the new headmaster at a Swiss boarding school, which Dinnie will attend. Dinnie faces homesickness, deals with where she belongs and meets an incredible cast of international students. She learns that it's okay to struggle and to feel uncertain--all while surrounded by the beauty of Switzerland.

Why I reread this book:
I've had a travel bug for as long as I can remember and Europe is the cream of the crop for me. There was no place I wanted to visit more. At the time my book diet consisted of a steady stream of The Babysitter's Club, so Bloomability opened up a whole new world for me. Boarding schools. Switzerland. The clashing of cultures. I was in love. I searched the web for hours looking for a boarding school to go to. Sadly my dream never came true, but I've adored any boarding school related since, such as Harry Potter and St. Trinian's.

Dinnie's struggle to find out who she is and where belongs echoed the same thoughts going through my middle school brain--what 13 year old doesn't have those exact thoughts? While I was rereading the story I especially loved how Dinnie captures her thoughts and feelings in her newly adopted Italian language. What better why to express yourself--the most basic terms? Loved it.

The secondary character that stood out the most is Guthrie. Guthries is boisterous and full of life. He drives Dinnie out her shell and into exploring her new surroundings. He exclaims over everything--it's wonderful and free and lively. Everything is "such the best." I laughed a little when I read that phrase--"such the best." I tried incorporating it into my daily language at the time. It didn't hold but I still use it my head sometimes. :)

Creech's story of growing up and coming to terms was a great novel for me as middle school and I still very much enjoyed it this week--it was such the best. What books have you reread from your past? Any that really stuck out for you?

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