By: Erin Entrada Kelly
Genre: YFB - General fiction (Children's / Teenage)
Published by: Text Publishing
Published: 16 Mar 2022
ISBN: 9781922458506


From Newbery medallist Erin Entrada Kelly comes a contemporary school story about friendship, family, de-ception, and being true to yourself.

Every day in Fawn Creek feels exactly the same - until Orchid Mason arrives.

There are twelve kids in the seventh grade at the Fawn Creek school. They've been together all their lives. In this tiny manufacturing town where everyone knows everything about everyone, that's not necessarily a great thing.

There are twelve kids, but thirteen desks. That's because Renni Dean moved to Grand Saintlodge - the next-door town - last year. Renni might have left Fawn Creek, but she still knows their secrets. She's still pulling their strings.

When Orchid Mason arrives and slips gracefully into Renni's desk, the other seventh-graders don't know what to think. Orchid is new and exciting. She was born in New York City and has travelled the world. She has lived in Paris, and she tells them stories of the Eiffel Tower and the Love Lock Bridge. She seems to float. Her dress skims the floor. She wears a flower behind her ear.

Orchid's arrival is about to upset the tightly knit friendship groups and challenge the hold Renni has over them. Who will claim Orchid Mason? Will she save them? Or will they save her?

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Set in the sleepy hollow of Fawn (aka Yawn) Creek, where there are only twelve kids in Year 7. The same twelve have been together forever, although their used to be thirteen until Renni moved schools. But then the mysterious Orchid arrives...

Having lived around the world, in places like Paris and Thailand, she is truly a breath of fresh air. To our main characters, Grayson and Dorothy, best friends forever, Orchid brings change and hope.

Greyson is tired of fitting into his family’s macho world of duck shooting, fishing and football, and dreams of designing and making his own clothes.

Dorothy has always lived in the shadows, but when Orchid suggests a new name suddenly Didi shines so much brighter.

Orchid may not be all she seems, but she is imaginative and kind, and brings positive change to the entire class. Covering topics like acceptance, toxic friendships, change, and most importantly, kindness. This is a great classroom novel that is suited to a 10 to 14 year old reader.

The characters are wonderful, and the writing and message inspirational.

Reviewed by Rob