Penguin Bloom Young Readers’ Edition – Chris Kunz, Harry Cripps, Shaun Grant

Standard

Harper Collins Australia

January 2021

  • ISBN: 9780733341670
  • ISBN 10: 0733341675
  • Imprint: ABC Books – AU
  • List Price: 14.99 AUD

Unless you were in some kind of mystical retreat with no access to outside communication, you could not have missed one of the summer’s biggest cinema releases, Penguin Bloom, based on the real-life story of Sam Bloom. Sam’s story, and that of her family, her life-threatening injury and subsequent inspirational journey was beautifully translated to film and many young people would have seen this during the holidays.

This media tie-in edition for younger readers will give both the kids who saw the movie, as well as those who missed it, the chance to explore the story from the perspective of Noah, oldest of the Bloom children. Noah’s voice is authentic and will immediately resonate with other children as he describes the aftermath of his mother’s devastating injury, sustained when she fell from a balcony during a family holiday in Thailand. The complete turn-around in their circumstances and family life put immense pressure on the Blooms and while Sam struggled to come to terms with her new physical limitations, Noah has secretly blamed himself for the accident. The exploration of the emotions is often raw and terribly moving but the fortitude and determination of this young family to repair their lives to be the very best they can be, is truly admirable. All this healing springs essentially from the family’s adoption of an orphaned magpie they name Penguin. When Penguin becomes Sam’s constant companion, she is able to pull herself through the overwhelming depression that engulfs her and begin a new acceptance of her condition as well as the resolution to transform herself, despite any impediments.

This is a beautiful and very special story and one which will provide young people with inspiration in adversity, and imbue within them Sam’s own attitude of “Never, ever give up.”

Highly recommended for readers from around 10 years upwards.

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