HarperCollins. Mar. 2021. 368p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780008398491.
Gr 4-6–This refreshing tale takes readers back to the era of Roald Dahl, featuring realistic characters entwined with fantastical events. Sorrel is a white child who believes that following the rules matters very much. She never questions her school’s motto, “May obedience shape you, may conformity mould you, may rules polish you.” In fact, she has been named Head of School two years in a row for being the most obedient, and knows that it is not appropriate to even smile at the headmaster, Mr. Grittysnit. When Sorrel finds a bag of Surprising Seeds, she resists the urge to do anything imprudent at first. But a persistent voice, her best friend Neena, and childhood curiosity take over and something unearthly happens. A bloom begins to grow on Sorrel’s head! She’s surely never going to get the award for Most Obedient Child now. Sorrel, her friends, and her mom grow and learn in ways they never expected. This novel will help children retain their innocence and harness their imagination. Sorrel Fallowfield will capture hearts and minds of readers of all ages; Skinner has earned her place among the greats.
VERDICT Readers will bloom along with Sorrel as she metaphorically and literally grows in this fantastic middle grade novel. Every child will love to laugh through this page-turner.

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