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Written by Sarah Ellis

  • 208 Pages
  • 9781554983698
  • from grade 5 to grade 8
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Girls & Women
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Social Situations / Friendship



Publication Date May 01, 2014

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.

Short-listed for the Red Maple Award for Fiction 2015

Selected for the Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids and Teens 2014

Selected for the The Globe 100 2014

Selected for the Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year 2014

Short-listed for the Chocolate Lily Book Award (Novel) 2015

Selected for the Bank Street's Best Children's Books of the Year 2015


Sarah Ellis

Sarah Ellis is the author of sixteen books for young readers, including The Baby Project and Odd Man Out. She has won the Mr. Christie’s Book Award, the Violet Downey Book Award, the Governor General’s Award, the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize and the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. Her books have been translated into French, Spanish, Danish, Chinese and Japanese. She is a masthead reviewer for the Horn Book Magazine and was recently writer-in-residence at the Toronto Public Library.

In 2013 Sarah was nominated for the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, children’s literature’s richest prize. She was also honored with the 2013 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence.

Sarah teaches in the MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.


Star Review

"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

Star 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

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

"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