This post is sponsored by Harper Collins.

As far back as I can remember, my imagination and curiosity have sent my mind spinning and jumping in a million directions (much to my teacher’s chagrin). Each day, I am full of new ideas and wonder.

Sometimes a simple sunrise, travel experience, or social interaction can fill my head with joy and intrigue to know more. I always want to know more.

Book Review: One Time by Sharon Creech

Years ago, I was attending a blogging conference in Chicago. I was introduced to a fellow writer. She told me her name, shook my hand, and then proceeded to ask me a question that I’ll never forget.

“Where are you going?”

I said, “Um…I plan on catching the next speaker session.

“No, where are you going?”

I then knew what she meant. Where was I going in my life? I had to admit, I didn’t really know. 

If I were to be asked this question today, I would have an answer.

“Where my calling leads me.” 

It’s questions like this that get me excited because digging into one’s psyche is the biggest adventure one can take.

In the book One Time, by Sharon Creech, an equally thought-provoking question is asked in a classroom full of middle school students.

“Who are you?”

Book Review: One Time by Sharon Creech


From Sharon Creech, Newbery Medal winner and New York Times bestselling author, comes a powerful coming-of-age story of a girl who discovers the endless possibilities her future may hold, with help from a brilliant teacher and a boy with a generous smile.

Perfect for fans of Love That Dog, this tale is about the transformative power of imagination and the journey to becoming who you are meant to be. This middle grade novel is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 5 to 6, at home or at school. It’s a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom.

Gina Filomena has been told she has an overactive imagination. With her bright clothing and artistic spirit, she’s always felt different from the other kids in her class. That is, until she meets her new neighbor, a mysterious boy named Antonio with a wide, welcoming smile.

Add in a creative new teacher, Miss Lightstone, and a world of possibilities opens up for Gina, Antonio, and their classmates. With the help of Antonio and Miss Lightstone, will Gina find the answers to the questions Who am I? and Who do I want to be?

Book Review: One Time by Sharon Creech

One Time reminded me of my childhood journeys, whether they were outside running through “magical” woods or inside my deeply imaginative mind. This story also hit home because I’m a mother to a middle-school son who possesses the same artistic spirit as Gina Filomena, the lead character in the book. Like Gina, he often has felt separated from his peers, because (like his mother) his mind is wired for adventure.

Book Review: One Time by Sharon Creech

When the teacher Miss Lightstone asks the question “Who are you?” the class doesn’t know how to respond at first, but through the wild imagination of Gina and her mysterious classmate (and neighbor), Antonio, they search for this elusive answer.

I look forward to my son reading this tale next and then asking him who he is while searching for who I am.

Book Review: One Time by Sharon Creech



My name is Sharon Creech and I am the author of many books for children, including Love That Dog, Ruby Holler, and my Newbery Medal-winning title, Walk Two Moons. My newest book, One Time, is now out in paperback.

I began writing One Time when my husband and I returned for a year to Switzerland, where we had worked thirty years prior. Everything was so familiar and yet also mysterious.

When I change environments, my mind tilts a bit, and I feel such a sense of possibility. In southern Switzerland, so close to the Italian border, where the people resemble my Italian grandparents, I become increasingly aware how much a place, its people and its language, like everywhere I’ve lived, has shaped me, my children, my students, my writing, and in some ways, perhaps, my readers.

One Time builds on that awareness and those explorations. It is a story about imagination and becoming and possibility. Who are you? What shapes you? Who could you become?

This is the story of eleven-year-old Gina, a mysterious new neighbor, Antonio, and a young teacher who sparks imagination in the classroom through frequent, ‘free’ (ungraded) writing experiments. My experience as both a teacher and a writer inspired me in thinking about the questions that Gina and Miss Lightstone’s class might uncover.

Peppering Gina’s world are her parents, friends Margie and Arif, the noisy Clackerty-Claffertys, the Frails, Uncle and Auntie Pasta, the Angel Lucia, and many more. Gina is shaped by all of these, much as you have been shaped, I suspect, by those in your world.

Who are you? 

What shapes you? 

Who could you be?

I hope you enjoy this exploration.

One time there was a writer and a reader. . .

-Sharon Creech