Outside In

Outside In

Written by: Ellis, Sarah
ages 10 to 13 / grades 5 to 8

Lynn’s life is full — choir practice, school, shopping for the perfect jeans, and dealing with her free-spirited mother. Then one day her life is saved by a mysterious girl named Blossom, who introduces Lynn to her own world and family — both more bizarre, yet somehow more sane, than Lynn’s own.

Blossom’s family is a small band of outcasts and eccentrics who live secretly in an ingenious bunker beneath a city reservoir. The Underlanders forage and trade for the things they need (“Is it useful or lovely?”), living off the things “Citizens” throw away. Lynn is enchanted and amazed. But when she inadvertently reveals their secret, she is forced to take measure of her own motives and lifestyle, as she figures out what it really means to be a family, and a friend.

Classic Sarah Ellis, this novel is smart, rich, engaging and insightful.

Lynn’s life is full — choir practice, school, shopping for the perfect jeans, and dealing with her free-spirited mother. Then one day her life is saved by a mysterious girl named Blossom, who introduces Lynn to her own world and family — both more bizarre, yet somehow more sane, than Lynn’s own.

Blossom’s family is a small band of outcasts and eccentrics who live secretly in an ingenious bunker beneath a city reservoir. The Underlanders forage and trade for the things they need (“Is it useful or lovely?”), living off the things “Citizens” throw away. Lynn is enchanted and amazed. But when she inadvertently reveals their secret, she is forced to take measure of her own motives and lifestyle, as she figures out what it really means to be a family, and a friend.

Classic Sarah Ellis, this novel is smart, rich, engaging and insightful.

Published By Groundwood Books Ltd — May 1, 2014
Specifications 208 pages | 5 in x 7.5 in 208 pages | 5 in x 7.5 in
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Excerpt
Written By

SARAH ELLIS is a celebrated author, teacher and children’s literature expert. She has written more than twenty books across the genres, and her books have been translated into French, Spanish, Danish, Chinese and Japanese. She has won the Governor General’s Literary Award (Pick-Up Sticks) and the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award (Odd Man Out). Sarah is a masthead reviewer for the Horn Book Magazine, and she is a former faculty member of Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Audience ages 10 to 13 / grades 5 to 8
Reading Levels Lexile 580L
Guided Reading Z

Short-listed, Red Maple Award for Fiction, 2015

Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids and Teens, 2014

Commended, The Globe 100, 2014

Commended, Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year, 2014

Short-listed, Chocolate Lily Book Award (Novel), 2015

Commended, Bank Street's Best Children's Books of the Year, 2015

“More than a thoughtful ode to found family, this slim, sweet novel challenges readers to look anew at the ones they have.” —Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW

“This is a thought-provoking tale that will hopefully inspire as well as delight its readers.” —CM Magazine

“Appealing and provocative, this challenges readers to assess their own lives, bringing up compelling issues as wide-ranging as the ills of consumerism and the obligations of friendship.” —Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“A thoughtful, exciting read that makes everything ordinary suddenly have the possibility to be extraordinary.” —School Library Journal

“Ellis is simultaneously a knotty and substantive writer and one with a light, conversational style . . .[A]n excellent book for discussion, eliciting lively partisanship on the question of what’s right and wrong.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"More than a thoughtful ode to found family, this slim, sweet novel challenges readers to look anew at the ones they have." — Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW

"Appealing and provocative, this challenges readers to assess their own lives, bringing up compelling issues as wide-ranging as the ills of consumerism and the obligations of friendship." — Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

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