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by Sharon Creech

Published by Joanna Cotler Books / HarperCollins, 1998
273 pages
ISBN: 0-06-026993-6

Ages 9 - 14

After problems develop at home with her older brother and sister, 13-year-old Dinnie is whisked away by her amiable aunt and uncle who are in charge of an international school in Lugano, Switzerland. Ironically, her new life in an unfamiliar place offers her a stability she has never known -- she has grown up in a family that has moved from place to place as her father constantly seeks new opportunities. With her new-found sense of home, new friends for whom transience is a fact of life, and with distance from her old life, Dinnie is finally able to piece together who she is and how she fits into her family. She is even able to glimpse the opportunities (or "bloomabilities" as her Japanese friend Keisuke calls them) that await her in the world beyond her family. Once again, Sharon Creech offers her readers memorable characters and a gripping storyline, deftly combining humor with some of the serious issues that face young teenagers. Upon deeper examination, readers will find parallels between the people Dinnie knows in the United States and those she meets in Switzerland. This subtle mirroring allows Dinnie's growing empathy for her new friends to plant the seeds for understanding her family back home. CCBC categories: Fiction for Children.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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