If you’re looking for a great book for a middle-school TCK (third culture kid), you’ve found it.
Sharon Creech is already recognized as an outstanding writer and storyteller. She is best known for her award-winning book Walk Two Moons.
Bloomability is similar to Walk Two Moons in that it also tells the story of a young girl with an unusual family situation who goes on a journey, and who happens to be right in the middle of growing up. But, in Bloomability, our heroine, Dinnie, has one more twist in her story: she’s living in a foreign country.
Dinnie recounts that in her “first life” in the United States, her family regularly moved to various states as her father pursued “opportunities.” Things were not going well, though Dinnie seems to have taken the frequent moves in stride. After some problems with her siblings, life changes in a major way for Dinnie. Her Aunt Sandy and Uncle Max come to take her to Switzerland, where her uncle serves as the headmaster for an international school.
Dinnie struggles with leaving her family and being in a new country. She is not entirely sure why she is being taken away; she even says that her aunt and uncle have “kidnapped” her. She doesn’t hear from her family often, and feels a bit lost. But, as with all her other moves before, she makes some new friends and rolls with the punches.
This time, however, Dinnie realizes that this is not just another new place, and it’s not just another group of kids to befriend. It dawns on her that, perhaps for the first time in her life, Dinnie has a lot in common with these students, even though they are all from different countries. In her “first life,” Dinnie was always the new kid.
But, “[h]ere everybody was from different places, not just me. Most of the people were new, not just me. Everybody had a different accent, not just me.”
For children who live overseas, especially those who have other expat friends, this will ring very true. In fact, there are many passages that will resonate with TCKs as they read Dinnie’s story.