Genre: Fiction, childhood favorite

Notes:  I’ve probably read this book 20 times.  Sharon Creech wrote the book for 8-12 year olds (according to the book jacket) but I don’t care.  I haven’t stopped reading it at 23 and probably never will.

Review: I never used to think I had a book that changed my life or whatever, but if I had to pick one, Bloomability is probably my book.  It’s amazing the kind of influence it has on my life – this is the book that made me want to travel, learn a new language,  (oddly) to write.  I always feel good when I finish this book.

And now, Bloomability reminds me to give Charleston a chance.

It’s easy for me to say why this book speaks so much to me, especially now.  For those of you who haven’t read Bloomability, the story follows 13-yr-old Domenica Santolina Doone as she transitions from her first life (he father moves the family constantly in search of “opportunities.”  She’s never been in a place for more than about 6 months) and begins a new life attending a boarding school in Lugano, Switzerland.  Dinnie (that’s her nickname) struggles with seeing the possibilities in Switzerland and only sees what isn’t there – her family.  She must choose to whether embrace Switzerland and all it has to offer or seal herself off and merely survive until she is reunited with her family again.

Honestly, I think everyone should move alone at least once in their lives.  You learn a lot about yourself, gain more independence and self-sufficiency, and push yourself further than you imagined.  But, like Dinnie, I’m sometimes guilty of sealing myself off from all of the wonderful possibilities around me and simply counting down the days until I can go home again or until someone visits me.  It’s really easy to consider a move temporary and, for that reason, not try hard to fit in.  Why make friends if you’re only going to leave?

But why sit around lonely and feel sorry for yourself?

Before you know it, you’ve got actual friends.  Not just people you’ve met once before and think “eh, you might be cool.  I might call you sometime” but people you like and don’t (totally) have to be on your best behavior around.   People who were once complete strangers are the first people you reach out to on a Friday night for Happy Hour.  People call you and invite you places.

In Bloomability, Dinnie gradually transitions from a quiet, slightly awkward, misplaced girl to someone who realizes opportunity surrounds her.  She only has to reach out and grab it.  And I’m going to do the same thing.

Bottom Line: It’s amazing what a book written for 12 year olds can teach you even after you’ve read it 20 times.  It is such the best.