Rachel Martin is having a tough year in middle school. Her beautiful, older sister dismisses her, her mother ignores her, her father falls ill, a nerdy boy develops a crush on her, and, for the first three weeks of school Rachel has a series of bad substitute teachers in her English class. But when Hannah Yousef takes over as Rachel’s English teacher, things start to improve. Mrs. Yousef seems to understand Rachel and encourages her thoughtfulness and writing talent. Rachel also learns about the Holocaust, as Mrs. Yousef is a survivor and shares her story with her students.
Batya Ansell, a child of Holocaust survivors and former middle school teacher has taken her life experiences and written them into this sweet story. She understands the intricacies of middle school and young teenagers and writes about their struggles with compassion. And she delicately weaves the subplot of World War Two and the history of the Holocaust into this story of teenage angst. Among the Blossoms may inspire young girls who aren’t the most beautiful or popular to develop their talents, wherever they may lie.
Recommended for readers 10 – 12 years old.