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I read this book in middle school in 2000/2001. I don’t recall that it was a popular or extremely current book, as nobody else had chosen to read it in our class, but I don’t think it could have been written much earlier than the 70s; it seemed current enough, and the actual storyline was also somewhat contemporary.

I don’t remember much of the plot, but I believe the girl protagonist was an expat from the US living on the border of two or three European countries: I believe Switzerland (possibly Belgium, but I think she was located near the Swiss alps for some reason). She was going to this foreign school and I believe she didn’t quite fit in (not 100% sure on this detail). Pretty sure regardless that she was homesick.

The biggest recollection I have of this story is the feeling and/or theme: she’s quite lonely, and lives in a very in-between sort of place (because she’s literally living on the border of these two/three countries: I think Switzerland and Italy; if not, possibly her location was between Belgium, Switzerland and France).

The scene I can remember most vividly is a thematic description of the mountainous country surrounding her; she describes the differing terrains/ecosystems of the landscapes on each side of her: there’s a snowy, rough and high terrain (Swiss Alps?) and a (comparatively) more tropical, warm terrain (Italy?)

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"Bloomability" cover

I figured out that the book is Bloomability by Sharon Creech.

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?

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  • When you return to the site, you can accept your own answer by clicking on the checkmark by the voting buttons, as per the tour. Jul 29 at 12:19
  • If you do so, could you also edit this answer to explain why this book matches your question?
    – bobble
    Jul 29 at 18:57

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