“Creech once again demonstrates her ability as a virtuoso storyteller.”—The Washington Post
Thirteen-year-old Domenica Santolina Doone (better known as Dinnie) is whisked away from her family (“kidnapped,” as she refers to it) and taken to a boarding school in Lugano, Switzerland, by her Uncle Max and Aunt Sandy. Once in Lugano, Dinnie struggles with homesickness, fears of being forgotten by her family, and questions about who she really is. But with the help of her new international friends, Dinnie comes to love her beautiful surroundings with its people who’ve come from all over the world.
IRA/CBC Children’s Choice
IRA/CBC Young Adults’ Choice
Parenting Magazine Reading Magic Award
Chicago Public Library Best Book
Missouri State Teachers Association Reading Circle Book
During our last year living in Europe, I thought a lot about coming back to the States and wondered what I would miss when I did move back. One place I knew I would miss was Switzerland, where we’d lived for two years. My husband was the headmaster at an American/international school there; I taught English; our two children attended the school. The school is in Montagnola, near Lugano, in the Italian-speaking Ticino.
We loved Switzerland and the language and the people—all of it. I thought it might be nice to set a book there, so that I could “revisit” it as I wrote, and I think I also wanted to capture Switzerland before I returned to the States, so that I’d never forget it. Although the characters and the school are fictional, to me they represent a lot of international schools and students—students who are from all over the world and are away from their families, who gain an appreciation for their host country and for people of other nationalities.
The original jacket bears an artist’s rendering of “real” pictures I sent to my editor. On the front is a picture of our daughter, Karin, reclining on a mountain in Andermatt (I love that she’s taken off her hiking boots and seems so happy there on that mountain). Beneath that picture is one of my youngest brother, Tom, and to the right of that is a view from our house there, looking up the hill toward Montagnola. The hardcover has additional pictures on the back: one is of a teacher, Laura Studders, our son, Rob, and our daughter on the slopes of St. Moritz; beneath that is a photo of my husband, Lyle.