Bloom

Publisher: HarperCollins

Sorrel Fallowfield is very well-behaved. She has to be if she doesn't want to cause her busy mum any trouble, so she knows the rules at school better than most of the staff. And when headteacher Mr Grittysnit announces a competition in which the best-behaved student will win a family holiday, she knows she has it in the bag.

At least, that is, until she finds a mysterious packet of seeds in her back garden and her world begins to spin wildly, bafflingly out of control...

Bloom is an unusual, surreal and funny tale, but behind all the oddities is some real heart. Grappling with themes of identity, conformity and the power of breaking the rules – with a reminder of the importance of nature and the environment, too – it manages to say a lot in a surprisingly accessible and imaginative way.

Nicola Skinner's humorous style and light touch keep the story skipping along, and the world and characters are fully realised – you can practically taste the Cheap Chillz pizza.

With its imaginative, sideways glance at issues relevant to a lot of young people, you'll begin reading Bloom out of curiosity, and soon be utterly gripped.

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