Bloomability

( 164 )

Overview

Kidnapped!

The kidnappers are actually her Aunt Sandy and Uncle Max, but that doesn't matter to Domenica Santolina Doone, better known as Dinnie. She feels as if she's being taken out of the country against her will. Certainly no one asked her opinion. Dinnie is used to change-with her family constantly moving from state to state while her father searches for one new "opportunity" after another. But when her aunt and uncle whisk her away to an international school in Lugano, ...

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Bloomability

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Overview

Kidnapped!

The kidnappers are actually her Aunt Sandy and Uncle Max, but that doesn't matter to Domenica Santolina Doone, better known as Dinnie. She feels as if she's being taken out of the country against her will. Certainly no one asked her opinion. Dinnie is used to change-with her family constantly moving from state to state while her father searches for one new "opportunity" after another. But when her aunt and uncle whisk her away to an international school in Lugano, Switzerland, Dinnie feels that this might be one "opportunity"that isn't right for her.

Suddenly Dinnie's surrounded by kids from many different cultures, backgrounds, and beliefs. Home, and her first life, seem so far away. Can she adapt to a new country, a new home, and new friends? Or will it just be easier to close herself off-just survive-and never realize all the "bloomabilities" that are possible?

When her aunt and uncle take her from New Mexico to Lugano, Switzerland, to attend an international school, thirteen-year-old Dinnie discovers an expanding world and her place within it.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Creech makes use of "a light first-person narrative and some insightful dream flashes," to convey an uprooted 13-year-old's coming of age, said PW. Ages 8-12. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Dinnie Doone has spent most of her twelve years living like a gypsy with a n'er do well father, her mother the dreamer, and emotionally upset siblings. She is suddenly pulled from this existence to spend a year at a posh Swiss boarding school run by her aunt and uncle. Lugano, her international classmates, and her new sense of permanence are a shock to the system. During an idyllic year that any adolescent might covet, Dinnie skis, climbs mountains, and learns to bloom. Creech does great kids and dialogue. She also conveys a nice sense of place and of Dinnie's role within this place while trying to work out where she truly belongs.
School Library Journal
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.
Nancy Bond
Thirteen-year-old Domenica Santolina Doone-Dinnie-is used to being a stranger. She and her family have moved many times, all over the United States, following her father in search of great opportunities. Dinnie is given her own great opportunity, whether she wants it or not, when her aunt and uncle take her to Lugano, Switzerland. Her uncle has been appointed headmaster of the American School and Dinnie is to be a pupil. For her, the year is one of "bloomability" (a word coined by a Japanese fellow student meaning "possibility"). In the beginning, she dreams of herself in a bubble, looking out at the world; gradually, her dreams change as, reluctantly at first, she allows experiences, diverse new friends, and unexpected and challenging ideas to enter through the pores in this bubble, pushing its walls further and further out. Dinnie says, "I'd always felt as if I were in a sort of suspension, waiting to see how things worked, waiting to see who I was and what sort of life I might lead." Creech surrounds her with a lively, sympathetic, often amusing cast of adult and adolescent characters, and Dinnie herself is an appealing narrator. It's Dinnie's own family, still wandering the U.S. while she's in Switzerland, who don't fully come to life. Dinnie's attachment to and homesickness for them is talked about rather than truly felt, and her two aunts, Grace and Tillie, with their repeated postcard messages, become tiresome. AlthoughBloomability itself feels less unified than the author's previous books, at the end Creech links them when she sends Dinnie "home" for the summer to Bybanks, Kentucky, a town already familiar to her readers. nancy bond Cynthia DeFelice The Ghost of Fossil Glen
--Horn Book
Katherine Sojourner
Another title from this wonderful "young adult" author who clearly knows how to touch the hearts of young girls. Dinnie, whose family moves constantly, is unsettled when relatives want to take her to school in another country where she knows nothing about the language, customs or the culture. While struggling to find something familiar, she discovers all the "bloomabilities" life has to offer her.
Kirkus Reviews
Creech (Chasing Redbird, 1997, etc.) plies the threads of love and loss, separation and belonging, into another deeply felt novel; while it is no sin for a writer to repeatedly explore such themes, a certain sameness is descending upon her books. Dinnie Santolina, 13, loves her family, even though her father is always in search of the next irresistible opportunity and her mother is happy to follow him. But when brother Crick finally gets into enough trouble to go to jail and sister Stella comes home at 16 both married and pregnant, Dinnie finds herself quite suddenly in Switzerland, where Uncle Max is the new headmaster at an international American school. Dinnie has had a lot of experience being the stranger, but here, with her warm and charming aunt and uncle, and among students of many nationalities, she explores the meaning of home through her dreams, the mountains, forests, and towns near Lake Lugano, and a curriculum where her classmates decide that thinking really is homework. She becomes friends with Lila, whose erratic behavior mirrors even more erratic parents, Keisuke, whose fractured English paints word-pictures ("bloomable" for possible), his Spanish girlfriend Belen, and the irrepressible Guthrie, who delights in all things. Metaphors mixed in several languages, dream images of snow and distance, and the bittersweet terrors of adolescence will keep readers turning the pages and regretful to reach the last one. (Fiction. 9-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780064408233
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/1999
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 161,062
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 7.62 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Sharon Creech

Sharon Creech is the author of the Newbery Medal winner Walk Two Moons and the Newbery Honor Book The Wanderer. Her other work includes the novels The Great Unexpected, The Unfinished Angel, Hate That Cat, The Castle Corona, Replay, Heartbeat, Granny Torrelli Makes Soup, Ruby Holler, Love That Dog, Bloomability, Absolutely Normal Chaos, Chasing Redbird, and Pleasing the Ghost, as well as three picture books: A Fine, Fine School; Fishing in the Air; and Who's That Baby? Ms. Creech and her husband live in Maine.

Good To Know

In her interview with Barnes & Noble.com, Creech shared some fun facts about herself:

"One of my most interesting jobs was in graduate school, working with the Federal Theatre Project archives (a Library of Congress collection, then based at George Mason University). I catalogued original illustrations for set and costume designs, some by Orson Welles. It was fascinating work!"

"I once fell 20 feet from a tree, was knocked unconscious, and when I picked myself up and straggled home, my parents thought I was making it up. However, when my brother and I fabricated a story about an encounter with a bear, they believed that! So maybe I learned very early on that fiction was more interesting to listeners!"

"As readers can probably tell from my books, I love the outdoors. I love to hike, kayak, and swim. I also love to read (which is probably not a surprise) and I love the theater and art museums. I especially love all the instruments of art: inks, pens, paintbrushes, watercolors and oils, fine papers and canvases, and although I love to mess around with these tools and objects, I have minimal artistic skills."

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    1. Hometown:
      Pennington, New Jersey
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 29, 1945
    2. Place of Birth:
      Cleveland, Ohio
    1. Education:
      B.A., Hiram College, 1967; M.A., George Mason University, 1978

Read an Excerpt

Bloomability RB/SB

Chapter One

First Life

In my first life, I lived with my mother, and my older brother and sister, Crick and Stella, and with my father when he wasn't on the road. My father was a trucker, or sometimes a mechanic or a picker, a plucker or painter. He called himself a Jack-of-all-trades (Jack was his real name), but sometimes there wasn't any trade in whatever town we were living in, so off he would go in search of a job somewhere else. My mother would start packing, and we'd wait for a phone call from him that would tell us it was time to join him.

He'd always say, "I found us a great place! Wait'll you see it!"

Each time we moved, we had fewer boxes, not more. My mother would say, "Do you really need all those things, Dinnie? They're just things. Leave them."

By the time I was twelve, we'd followed my father from Kentucky to Virginia to North Carolina to Tennessee to Ohio to Indiana to Wisconsin to Oklahoma to Oregon to Texas to California to New Mexico. My things fit in one box. Sometimes we lived in the middle of a noisy city, but most of the time Dad had found us a tilted house on a forgotten road near a forgotten town.

My mother had been a city girl, my father a country boy; and as far as I could tell, my mother spent most of her time trying to forget that she'd been a city girl. Those few times that we lived in the middle of the city, though, she seemed as if she were right at home, in her real home, her permanent home.

She'd get a job in an office or a design studio, instead of a diner. She knew how to use buses and weave in and out of crowds, and she didn't seem to hear the horns and sirens andjackhammers.

Those things drove my father crazy. "I know there's work here," he'd say, "but there's too many bodies and cars everywhere. You're like to get killed just stepping into the road. No place to raise kids."

My mother would be real quiet after he'd said something like this, and pretty soon he'd be off looking for a better place to live, and she'd be packing again. My sister Stella had a theory that Dad was keeping us on the move so my mother's family wouldn't find us. He didn't trust a single one of her brothers or sisters, and he didn't trust her parents, either. He thought they had "airs" and would talk my mother into moving back to New York, where she'd come from. He said they looked down their noses at us.

Once, when I was seven or eight, and we were living in Wisconsin-or no, maybe it was Oklahoma-or it could've been Arkansas (I forgot Arkansas-we lived there for six months, I believe), a thin woman with gray hair pulled back in a tight bun was sitting in our kitchen one day when I came home from school. Before I could shake off my coat, she'd wrapped me in a perfumed hug and called me carissima and her sweet kitten.

"I'm not a kitten," I said, sliding out the side door. Crick was throwing a basketball at an invisible hoop.

"There's a lady in there," I said.

Crick aimed, shot that ball into a graceful high arc, and watched it bounce off the edge of the garage next door. "Crud," he said, "that's no lady. That's your grandma Fiorelli."

There was a big argument that night after I'd gone to bed behind the drapes hung between the kitchen and the side room. My Dad was gone-he'd taken one look at our lady grandma and bolted out the door, never even pausing to say hello. It was Mom and Grandma in the kitchen.

Mom was telling her how resourceful Dad was, and how he could do anything, and what a rich life we had. From the bed next to mine, Stella said, "Mom's a dreamer."

In the kitchen, Grandma said, "Rich? This is a rich life?"

My mother charged on. "Money isn't everything, Ma," she said.

"And why you go and let him name that boy Crick? What kind of name is that? Sounds like he was raised in a barn."

My parents had had an agreement. Dad got to name any boys they had, and Mom got to name the girls. Dad told me he'd named Crick after a clear little crick that ran beside the house they'd lived in at the time. Once, when I used the word crick in a paper for school, the teacher crossed it out and wrote creek above it. She said crick wasn't a real word. I didn't tell Dad that. Or Crick either.Mom named her first girl (my sister) Stella Maria. Then I came along, and she must have been saving up for me, because she named me Domenica Santolina Doone. My name means Sunday-Southern-Wood-River. I was born on a Sunday (which makes me blessed, Mom said), and at the time we lived in the South beside woods and a river. My name is pronounced in the Italian way: Doe-MEN-i-kuh. Domenica Santolina Doone. It's a mouthful, so most people call me Dinnie.

In the kitchen, Grandma Fiorelli was steaming on. "You ought to think of yourself," she said. "You ought to think of those children. They could be in a school like the one your sister works in. Your husband needs a real job-"

"He has a real job-"

"Every six months? Basta!" Grandma said. "Why he can't keep a job for more than six months at a time? What does he do, anyway? Why he didn't go to college so he could get a real job? How are you going to get out of this mess?"

"He's looking for the right opportunity," my mother said. "He could do anything-anything at all. He just needs a break-"

Grandma's voice got louder every time she started up again. She was bellowing like a bull by this time. "A break? E ridicolo! And how he is going to get a break if he doesn't even have a college education? Answer me that!"

"Everybody doesn't need a college education," my mother said.

"When we come to this country, your father and I, we know not a word of English, but you kids got a college education-"

Stella threw a pillow at me. "Don't listen, Dinnie," she said. "Put your head under this and go to sleep."

The pillow didn't drown out Grandma Fiorelli, though. She barreled on. "And what about you?" Grandma said to my mother. "There you are, a perfectly well-trained artist, and I bet you don't even have a paintbrush to your name."

"I paint," my mother said.

"Like what? Walls? Falling down, peeling walls? Basta! You ought to talk to your sister-"

The next morning Grandma Fiorelli was gone, and so was Dad. He'd gone looking for a new place to live. He'd heard of an opportunity, he said.

And so we followed him around, from opportunity to opportunity, and as we went, Crick got into more and more trouble. Crick said it wasn't his fault that every place we went, he met up with people who made him do bad things. According to Crick, some boys in Oklahoma made him throw rocks at the school windows, and some boys in Oregon made him slash a tire, and some boys in Texas made him smoke a joint, and some boys in California made him burn down a barn, and some boys in New Mexico made him steal a car.

Every time we moved, Dad told him, "You can start over."

And with each move, Stella got quieter and quieter. Within a week of our reaching a new town, there'd be boys pounding on the door day and night, wanting to see her. All kinds of boys: tough ones, quiet ones, nerdy ones, cool ones.

In California, when she was sixteen, she came home one Sunday night, after having been gone all weekend with one of her girlfriends, supposedly, and said she'd gotten married.

"No you didn't," Dad said.

"Okay, I didn't," she said, and went on up to bed.

She told me she'd married a Marine, and she showed me a marriage certificate. The Marine was going overseas. Stella started eating and eating and eating. She got rounder and rounder and rounder. When we were in that hill town in New Mexico, she woke me up one night and said, "Get Mom, and get her quick."

Stella was having a baby. Dad was on the road, Crick was in jail, and Stella was having a baby.

And that was the last week of my first life.

Bloomability RB/SB. Copyright © by Sharon Creech. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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First Chapter

First Life

In my first life, I lived with my mother, and my older brother and sister, Crick and Stella, and with my father when he wasn't on the road. My father was a trucker, or sometimes a mechanic or a picker, a plucker or painter. He called himself a Jack-of-all-trades (Jack was his real name), but sometimes there wasn't any trade in whatever town we were living in, so off he would go in search of a job somewhere else. My mother would start packing, and we'd wait for a phone call from him that would tell us it was time to join him.

He'd always say, "I found us a great place! Wait'll you see it!"

Each time we moved, we had fewer boxes, not more. My mother would say, "Do you really need all those things, Dinnie? They're just things. Leave them."

By the time I was twelve, we'd followed my father from Kentucky to Virginia to North Carolina to Tennessee to Ohio to Indiana to Wisconsin to Oklahoma to Oregon to Texas to California to New Mexico. My things fit in one box. Sometimes we lived in the middle of a noisy city, but most of the time Dad had found us a tilted house on a forgotten road near a forgotten town.

My mother had been a city girl, my father a country boy; and as far as I could tell, my mother spent most of her time trying to forget that she'd been a city girl. Those few times that we lived in the middle of the city, though, she seemed as if she were right at home, in her real home, her permanent home. She'd get a job in an office or a design studio, instead of a diner. She knew how to use buses and weave in and out of crowds, and she didn't seem to hear the horns and sirens and jackhammers.

Those things drove my father crazy. "I know there's work here," he'd say, "but there's too many bodies and cars everywhere. You're like to get killed just stepping into the road. No place to raise kids."

My mother would be real quiet after he'd said something like this, and pretty soon he'd be off looking for a better place to live, and she'd be packing again. My sister Stella had a theory that Dad was keeping us on the move so my mother's family wouldn't find us. He didn't trust a single one of her brothers or sisters, and he didn't trust her parents, either. He thought they had "airs" and would talk my mother into moving back to New York, where she'd come from. He said they looked down their noses at us.

Once, when I was seven or eight, and we were living in Wisconsin-or no, maybe it was Oklahoma -- or it could've been Arkansas (I for-got Arkansas-we lived there for six months, I believe), a thin woman with gray hair pulled back in a tight bun was sitting in our kitchen one day when I came home from school. Before I could shake off my coat, she'd wrapped me in a perfumed hug and called me carissima and her sweet kitten.

"I'm not a kitten," I said, sliding out the side door. Crick was throwing a basketball at an invisible hoop.

"There's a lady in there," I said.

Crick aimed, shot that ball into a graceful high arc, and watched it bounce off the edge of the garage next door. "Crud," he said, "that's no lady. That's your grandma Fiorelli."

There was a big argument that night after I'd gone to bed behind the drapes hung between the kitchen and the side room. My Dad was gone-he'd taken one look at our lady grandma and bolted out the door, never even pausing to say hello. It was Mom and Grandma in the kitchen.

Mom was telling her how resourceful Dad was, and how he could do anything, and what a rich life we had. From the bed next to mine, Stella said, "Mom's a dreamer."

In the kitchen, Grandma said, "Rich? This is a rich life?"

My mother charged on. "Money isn't everything, Ma," she said.

"And why you go and let him name that boy Crick? What kind of name is that? Sounds like he was raised in a barn."

My parents had had an agreement. Dad got to name any boys they had, and Mom got to name the girls. Dad told me he'd named Crick after a clear little crick that ran beside the house they'd lived in at the time. Once, when I used the word crick in a paper for school, the teacher crossed it out and wrote above it. She said crick wasn't a real word. I didn't tell Dad that. Or Crick either.

Mom named her first girl (my sister) Stella Maria. Then I came along, and she must have been saving up for me, because she named me Domenica Santolina Doone. My name means Sunday- Southern-Wood-River. I was born on a Sunday (which makes me blessed, Mom said), and at the time we lived in the South beside woods and a river. My name is pronounced in the Italian way: Doe-MEN-i-kuh. Domenica Santolina Doone. It's a mouthful, so most people call me Dinnie.

In the kitchen, Grandma Fiorelli was steam-ing on. "You ought to think of yourself," she said. "You ought to think of those children. They could be in a school like the one your sister works in. Your husband needs a real job-"

"He has a real job-"

"Every six months? Basta!" Grandma said. "Why he can't keep a job for more than six months at a time? What does he do, anyway? Why he didn't go to college so he could get a real job? How are you going to get out of this mess?"

"He's looking for the right opportunity," my mother said. "He could do anything-anything at all. He just needs a break-"

Grandma's voice got louder every time she started up again. She was bellowing like a bull by this time. "A break? + ridicolo! And how he is going to get a break if he doesn't even have a college education? Answer me that!"

"Everybody doesn't need a college education," my mother said.

"When we come to this country, your father and I, we know not a word of English, but you kids got a college education-"

Stella threw a pillow at me. "Don't listen, Dinnie," she said. "Put your head under this and go to sleep."

The pillow didn't drown out Grandma Fiorelli, though. She barreled on. "And what about you?" Grandma said to my mother. "There you are, a perfectly well-trained artist, and I bet you don't even have a paintbrush to your name."

"I paint," my mother said.

"Like what? Walls? Falling down, peeling walls? Basta! You ought to talk to your sister-"

The next morning Grandma Fiorelli was gone, and so was Dad. He'd gone looking for a new place to live. He'd heard of an opportunity, he said.

And so we followed him around, from opportunity to opportunity, and as we went, Crick got into more and more trouble. Crick said it wasn't his fault that every place we went, he met up with people who made him do bad things. According to Crick, some boys in Oklahoma made him throw rocks at the school windows, and some boys in Oregon made him slash a tire, and some boys in Texas made him smoke a joint, and some boys in California made him burn down a barn, and some boys in New Mexico made him steal a car.

Every time we moved, Dad told him, "You can start over."

And with each move, Stella got quieter and quieter. Within a week of our reaching a new town, there'd be boys pounding on the door day and night, wanting to see her. All kinds of boys: tough ones, quiet ones, nerdy ones, cool ones.

In California, when she was sixteen, she came home one Sunday night, after having been gone all weekend with one of her girlfriends, supposedly, and said she'd gotten married.

"No you didn't," Dad said.

"Okay, I didn't," she said, and went on up to bed.

She told me she'd married a Marine, and she showed me a marriage certificate. The Marine was going overseas. Stella started eating and eating and eating. She got rounder and rounder and rounder. When we were in that hill town in New Mexico, she woke me up one night and said, "Get Mom, and get her quick."

Stella was having a baby. Dad was on the road, Crick was in jail, and Stella was having a baby.

And that was the last week of my first life.

Read More Show Less

Reading Group Guide

Introduction

Bloomability, by Newbery medalist Sharon Creech, tells the coming-of-age tale of Dinnie, a thirteen-year-old girl uprooted from her parents' nomadic lifestyle to spend a year in Switzerland. Dinnie is used to change, since her whole life has been comprised of moving to a new town every time her father excitedly stumbles upon a new opportunity. But when Dinnie's aunt and uncle invite her to stay with them and attend an American international school in Switzerland, she wants to rebel and stay with her family. "I was used to moving, used to packing up and following along like a robot, but I was tired of it. I wanted to stop moving and I wanted to be somewhere and stay somewhere and I wanted my family" (p. 17).

Dinnie arrives in Switzerland homesick, scared, and stubbornly refusing to enjoy herself. Throughout the course of the year, however, Dinnie not only becomes comfortable in her new surroundings, but also sees the appeal of the new experiences, struggles, and opportunities presented to her.

Questions for Discussion

  1. Why does Dinnie refer to her time with her parents as her "first life," and her time in Switzerland as her "second life"? If her "third life" begins at the end of the book, how do you think it would differ from the first two?

  2. Dinnie observes that both Lila and Guthrie have very strong personalities, and worries about whether she is as interesting as they are. Toward the end of the book, she is surprised when Guthrie calls her interesting. Why does he think this? Do you think Dinnie is interesting? Why or why not?

  3. What appeals to Dinnie about struggling? How does she use being "fullof struggles" to help her deal with her new life in Switzerland?

  4. To Dinnie, Switzerland is a strange and unfamiliar place that grows to feel comfortable. What similarities does she discover between Switzerland and her various homes in America? What differences? How do both the similarities and differences help Dinnie appreciate her experiences there?

  5. After Guthrie is rescued from the avalanche, Dinnie has a dream that her bubble is gone (pp. 228–29). What does that signify to Dinnie? How do the preceding events lead up to this revelation?

  6. Explain the contrasting perspectives of Lila and Guthrie, taking into consideration Guthrie's story of the two prisoners. How does Dinnie's personality complement theirs?

  7. Discuss Uncle Max's graduation speech about variety (p. 250). How do variety and acceptance at the international school affect Dinnie? How is it different from her previous experiences (consider Stella's advice on moving to a new place and fitting in, such as "Expect the worst" and "Dress plain the first day")? How does it make Dinnie feel about herself?

  8. Dinnie observes that "for all our differences in nationality, in language, in culture, and in personality, we were all more alike than not" (p. 256). Explain what she means by this. Why is it so important to Dinnie to have a sense of belonging?

  9. What is Dinnie's relationship with her parents like? How does this affect her fears about being in a foreign country?

  10. How do Dinnie's dreams illustrate her concerns and thoughts? Select some examples to discuss.

  11. By the end of the book, Dinnie resolves that she no longer feels like a stranger, even while moving from place to place. Like a snail, she carries her home on her back. What does she discover about the notion of home? How do her experiences in Switzerland lead her to that conclusion (p. 261)?

  12. Why do you think this book is called Bloomability?

About the author

Sharon Creech received the Newbery Medal for Walk Two Moons. After eighteen years of teaching and writing in Europe, Ms. Creech now lives in the United States with her husband.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 165 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    fun but no Walk Two Moons

    Sharon Creech won the Newbery Medal for "the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children" in 1994 for her novel Walk Two Moons. Bloomability, from 1998, is one of Creech's later novels for children.

    Thirteen-year-old Domenica Santolina Doone, known to almost everyone as Dinnie, does not have what most people would consider a mundane life, let alone an average one.

    "In my first life, I lived with my mother, and my older brother and sister, Crick and Stella, and with my father when he wasn't on the road."

    As Dinnie's father, a Jack-of-all-trades by name and choice, moves across the country in search of new "opportunities," Dinnie and her family follow.

    "By the time I was twelve, we'd followed my father from Kentucky to Virginia to North Carolina to Tennessee to Ohio to Indiana to Wisconsin to Oklahoma to Oregon to Texas to California to New Mexico. My things fit in one box."

    There was also a stint in Arkansas so brief that it escaped Dinnie's recollection. As some readers might have guessed, this lifestyle did not always work out for the family. The crux of the novel begins when Dinnie makes this series of observations:

    "Dad was on the road, Crick was in jail, and Stella was having a baby.

    And that was the last week of my first life."

    That's when Dinnie is kidnapped by two complete strangers. At least, that's how it seems to Dinnie. No one else seems to agree. But, just because she met her Aunt Sandy and Uncle Max twice before, it doesn't make them like her real family. At least, not right away.

    Dinnie's aunt and uncle take her off to Switzerland for an opportunity of her own as a student the school where Max will be headmaster and Sandy a teacher. At first, Dinnie doesn't see how any of that is an opportunity. But then she gets to the school and starts to meet some of the other students. Coming from all over the world, and from many different cultures, everyone is different. For the first time in Dinnie's life, she isn't the only stranger. Miles away from her family and in a foreign country, Dinnie might finally have a chance to find herself.

    Along the way, she also finds friends (and family) that she never would have encountered anywhere else. Creech does a great job here of showing different cultures. The book is a nice example of a truly international book. It also might teach readers a thing or two about the importance of tolerance. In fact, I'm sure it could be used in a variety of classes as a teaching tool even if I can't get into all of the ideas in this review. It's also written in a very authentic, humorous voice.

    The title of this book, Bloomability, refers to possibilities--a recurring theme in the novel. Dinnie isn't happy about a lot of the things she has to do, but as she soon learns, every change is an opportunity and a new possibility. On a personal level, this book is actually a really relevant review for the week, and I'm sure most other readers would also find it has some valuable insight to offer during times of change.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2012

    Bloomity

    Just bought it havent read it yet. How is it?

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2012

    FANTASTICO!!! BELLA BELLA LLLLLIIIIBBBERRRRR!!!

    I love gurthie! He is the BEST! Fantastico! Bella bella liber( srry latin for book but i dont know italian!;) i wish gurthie and dinnie got together earlier cuz "i m the kind of person who.likes sappy romances" (read the liber to get the inside joke;) but parents never fear bcuz its not like inapproprite romance ( thats not sharon's style !:D or mine really;) anyhooits a must read but if ur a mature 12 or over i suggest u go for challenging books ( if u like the romance, read pride and prejudice [my fav book] !).

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2012

    Bloomability

    Sharon Creech has done it again.
    I could not put this book down. It had me hanging on until the end, and i enjoyed every minute.
    Thank you for such a great book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2012

    Great book

    They should make a movie based ob this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2011

    Great Book!

    I first read this book in my sixth grade class. It was just sitting there in the classroom library. So, of couse I picked it up. It was such a fabulous story to me. Ever since I had graduated from Elementary school, I had been looking for it, but I didn't remember the title or author. Finally, I gave up. Until I got my nook color for my thirteenth birthday and looked up Sharon Creech on "shop" and this book popped up. Yay!!! I found the book that I had been looking for for a year! This book is amazing and full of "bloomabilities". READ THIS BOOK!!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2008

    GO SHARON CREECH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This is my favorite book. Its about a girl named Dinnie that moves from place to place. Her mom &dod decide she is going to move in with her aunt &uncle in Italy. at first she knows nobody. then she meets a boy that is her neibor. they go to school together. they have lots of fun tigether.then they fall in love. Thenon a school trip they go sking with her friends. Two of her friendsget hurt .they have to goto the hospital. they are hurt very bad. they get better soon. then she graduates.her boyfrind gives a good speech. I dont want to rewrite the entire book so ,you will have to read the book your self!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2008

    This book is so great!!

    I love this book. Sharon Creech is an excellent writer, in my opinion. I love the Italian for White Voices. Voci Bianche. Beautiful! Bella!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2007

    Excellent!

    'Bloomability', by Sharon Creech, is a brilliant book. Thirteen-year-old Dinnie is sent off to Switzerland, where she attends an international boarding school. There, she learns how to speak Italian and how to ski, and makes a few unforgettable friends along the way. A heartwarming story about courage, friendship, overcoming challenges and always keeping your mind open to everything in life.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2007

    good but i didnt get to read the whole thing

    I am in 7th grade and I read this book I can tell u that this is a really good book. Although i was absent for a week i got realy mad b/c i missed the point where dinnie and Guthrie got together.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2005

    Bloomability: Rox my SOX!

    I LOVE This book. It brings reference to some serious topics, but the books is great. I loved it. I loved how dinnie had her own little 'bubble' and all. I read this 2 years ago, and i still cannot forget it. (i was in the 5th grade!) The book touched my soul and i will not let go! At the end of the book, it gave me the feeling in the bottom of my heart, that I get after i finish playing a fulfilling rendition of a peice. It influenced my writing style, so much, and for the better. THANK YOU!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2005

    this book was GREAT

    At first i thought it was pretty boring. But wen i started reading more of the book it was really interesting. I couldnt put the book down becuase i wanted to know wat would happen next. I really got into the story like i was really there with all of them.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2005

    awesome book

    I have enjoyed all of Sharon Creech's books and this was one of my favorites.Dinnie is a interesting and likeable character. I liked how there little bits of all italian were all throughout the book. I wish there was a sequel!!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2002

    Great!!!!!!

    This book is REALLY good. It was cool and really fun to read. I loved it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2001

    Very Interesting

    Bloomability is funny yet meaningful.Very enjoyable!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2001

    A great book for those who are adventurous.

    I liked the book 'Bloomability' because I liked how Sharon Creech (the author), lets us know and recognize each of the characters' personailities. I especially liked Lila, because she can be so funny at times. Another thing I liked about this book is that it is set in another country.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2000

    This is a good book, but 'Walk Two Moons' reigns!

    This is a pretty good book. You should read it!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 1999

    A unpredictable book

    I liked this book because it was full of surprises. The characters in this book were very unique and creative! The main character of this book is a girl, her name is Dinnie. She traveled from place to place with her family wherever their father could find a good job opportunity. Eventually she is sent to Switzerland with her aunt and uncle. She meets kids from all over the world that go to her new school. Even though they all are very different from each other they all become good friends. This book is full of adventures and you won't want to put it down!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2014

    WONDERFUL!!!!!!!

    This book was amaxing sharon u did a fabulous job on it!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2013

    Hey Sharon Creech!

    I see what you did with the whole "letter from Tillie with turtle and girl uncovering trail" thing. Great idea. Dinnie and Zinny would be great together. I loved how all the kids from different places became friends. I personally think Lila was being a smige stew-pod with disliking Belen because she was Spanish. But that's cause she's Lila-the-pistol. Great job!

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