Sorrel is Head of Year for the second year running. Her mother runs out of shoeboxes to store her ‘Most Sensible Child and School Rule certificates.‘ Therefore she is committed to winning the holiday prize as Grittysnit star, the most obedient student at Grittysnit School. After all, she knows the rules down to the tiniest punctuation mark and would never disobey.

However, the Monday afternoon she returns home to Cheery Cottage with the competition form everything goes wrong. Not only does an errant gust of wind snatch the paper away, but Sorrel discovers a peculiar brown packet wedged beneath the ugly tree in her garden. Somehow this packet holds a strange allure so that she must remove it, investigate and thereafter release its contents.

There is nothing out of order in Little Sterilis. Furthermore nothing is allowed to puncture the ordered, fearful perfection of Grittysnit School. It’s why Sorrel does not sign Neena’s petition against the exam hall proposed for the school’s one remaining playing field. It’s why Sorrel likes routine and calm so that homework is done to plan, shoes are shone and she never speaks up for herself. Therefore, her need to release the ‘self seeding seeds’ she discovers is totally alien. What happens after that is so peculiar that it threatens to unravel Sorrel, her mother, Grittysnit School and the community. What is at the root of it all?

Bloom is an extraordinary novel. Nicola Skinner has created a title that is slightly dystopian, environmental, message-on-point, funny, rich and meaningful. Bookwagon is delighted to break the rules with Sorrel that this wonderful book might blossom amongst readers!

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Nicola Skinner


Bloom is Sorrel’s account of what happens after she discovers a seed packet in her back garden. She was only chasing Mr Grittysnit’s school letter. This promises a holiday to Portugal for the most obedient child! Surely that prize is meant for Sorrel? After all, she follows the simple rule to:- ‘Be good at school and home’. In addition she is Head of Year for the second year running! Yet a moment of madness when the wind whips the letter outside, revealing a mysterious seed packet leads to a loss of control. Control, furthermore, is the byword of Little Sterilis, and certainly Grittysnit School.
What is the magic that lures Sorrel toward the seeds? Thereafter, why can she hear a voice, and feel such an electricity about the old willow tree that seems to pollute their garden? It seems like everything that Sorrel knows to be right is overturned, and thereafter her behaviour sets off some sort of domino effect!
Fans of upended stories such as The Bigwoof Conspiracy with unlikely heroes like Lance of Crater Lake will really appreciate Bloom. However this story has a subtle, allegorical message about our environment and our individual responsibility.


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