Tamsin Janu, Blossom, Omnibus/Scholastic Australia,  1 July 2017, 192pp., $16.99 (pbk) ISBN 9781742991641

It is the beginning of the holidays when Lottie hears the wind chimes ring at her front door. Thinking it is her friend, she opens the door to find a little girl standing there holding a flower. Lottie and her Uncle Bobby, with whom she has been living since her mother’s death some years before, take the little girl to the police station. The little girl, named Blossom by Lottie, does not talk and is unidentifiable. The police allow her to stay with Lottie and Uncle Bobby while they search for her family. Lottie takes Blossom under her wing, taking her everywhere and looking after her. Lottie notices some very strange habits of Blossom’s and it is not until Blossom becomes ill and is in hospital that her strangeness is revealed to other characters in the story. Blossom is kept in isolation and Lottie and her friends hatch an ingenious and daring plan to rescue her.

This is an endearing story of an unusual friendship, full of caring and love. The narrative is beautifully written with not a word wasted. The plot is original and strong throughout, well paced to keep the reader’s interest. There are a variety of characters, not all friendly, but all written expertly and easy to get to know. This book has instant appeal, with the intrigue beginning within the first few pages. A perfect book for younger readers, this would also make a good read aloud and would encourage discussions of family and belonging. Highly recommended.

Reviewed by Liz Derouet

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