This is a book review of Bloom by Kenneth Oppel

Bloom (The Overthrow #1) by Kenneth Oppel book talk

What is a great science fiction/horror book for upper elementary and middle school kids?

Bloom by Kenneth Oppel is!

Rain is just rain, right? WRONG!

Anaya is allergic to everything! She wakes up and her eyes are swollen shut. She has to use so much medicine just to get out the door in the morning to go to school. Anaya is super embarrassed by the way she looks, but there is absolutely nothing she can do to fix it.

Petra is beautiful and the most popular girl in school, but she has a problem. She is allergic to water! Wait, what? Yes, she is allergic to water! She has to have a particular way to wash her face, brush her teeth, and bathe.

Seth is a foster kid who has been bounced around from family to family. He has never had a good experience because most families find him different and odd. The way he copes with things is by sketching and drawing.

Rain is just rain, right? WRONG!

When the rain begins everyone thinks that it is just another rainy day, everyone except Petra. She accidentally gets caught out in the rain without her umbrella. She is trying desperately to get home before a severe rash breaks out, but she soon finds out that the rain has the opposite effect. There is no rash from this rain. She can’t believe it! So what does she do? She bottles as much of it as she can so that she can wash her face like a normal person.

Anaya is not without effects from the rain either. The next day she wakes up and her eyes are open, not red and puffy. Her skin is clearer and for the first time ever she actually looks pretty and she can actually breathe!

As the rain came down, Seth was having what he thought were “growing pains” in his arms and hands. They ached something terrible and didn’t let up until the rain stopped.

Rain is just rain, right? WRONG!

After the rain stops these mysterious black plants begin growing all across the island. At first, people begin chopping them down, but they just grow right back, taller than before. Next, they try to burn them but the gas that they put off is deadly. As the black plants begin to grow and wrap around houses a whole new kind of terror begins – venus flytrap type of plants opens up from the ground that houses a deadly acid-like liquid and a gas that puts you to sleep.

Rain is just rain, right? WRONG!

They soon find out that the rain that fell on their small island off the coast of Vancouver didn’t just fall there, but it rained across the whole planet causing these black plants to grow everywhere, basically taking over the world. Since Anaya, Petra, and Seth seem to be the only ones that have no effects from these plants and their deadly gasses, they are taken to an army base to be studied.

Rain is just rain, right? WRONG!

Does Anaya, Petra, and Seth hold the key to defeating these plant creatures? Will they find out why they are immune when no one else seems to be? (Um… tiny spoiler alert – yes they do and you won’t believe what it is!!!) Will Anaya’s dad, a botanist, who has gone to an island where these things seem to be dying, be found alive? Read this incredibly heart-stopping, page-turning, can’t stop until I’m finished book!!

Why I love this book!

I am not a big science fiction person, but I do love a great scary book! This one changed my mind about science fiction and validated my love for horror! Bloom had me up late at night because I couldn’t put it down. There were so many “oh my gosh, that did not just happen” moments that I couldn’t even keep up with them. It was terrifying and exciting and holy cow was it amazing! I can not wait to read book 2 – Hatched!

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Must-Have Coloring Sheets!!!

Let’s face it – today’s kids have a hard time sitting still. This is why Fidget Spinners, Pop-its, and even Rubik’s Cubes are so popular! But when you are doing a read-aloud, you sure don’t want to hear all the noise that those things make. This is where coloring sheets come in! Give students the coloring sheet that goes with the book and some crayons or colored pencils and you’ve got their hands busy but they are listening to you (and best of all – it’s quiet!).

Another fantastic reason to give them this coloring sheet is that when you introduce a main character, setting, description, plot, or any other story element that comes along, they can turn the paper over and jot that information down. After you have finished reading the book and you want the kids to write a summary or book review, they now have all the information at their fingertips.

Classroom teachers!! You could start at the very beginning of the year and have students put their completed coloring sheets into a binder so at the end of the year they can look back at all of their favorite novels.

Click here for Bloom’s coloring sheet!

Click here for the First Chapter Friday/Novel Study Bundle!

Check out these other fantastic book talks in the same genre as scary.

Read and watch all things Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol: The Sleepwalking Snowman right here!

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Hi! I'm Laurie!

I am a book loving librarian with a passion for getting the right book into the hand of a child so that they will develop a love of reading! I live in Hoover, AL with my husband, Lee, and my dog, Holly.

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