Sunday, April 3, 2016

Tangerine, by Edward Bloor

Paul Fisher is a visually impaired young man best known for his unique goggles.  Despite his impairment, he’s a natural athlete and a great soccer goalie.  When he moves to Florida and a sinkhole destroys half of his new school, the students are given the choice of busing to the town’s other public school, Tangerine Middle.  Paul sees this as his chance to finally make the starting team, so he starts all over again as the new kid…twice in the same year!

Even though Tangerine Middle seemed like a rough place, this book didn’t contain any graphic descriptions of violence so I’d say it’s fine for middle grade readers.  In fact, I’d think that it would be a very helpful book for anyone who’s feeling anxious about an upcoming change in schools.  After everything that Paul goes through, the challenge of starting all over would seem small in comparison!

One of the best things about this book is the way that Mr. Bloor peels back the shiny veneer of the state of Florida, a place most of us associate with theme parks and holiday destinations, to show that there are real people with real problems here as well.  “Tangerine” was the first book I’ve read from this talented writer, but it will definitely not be my last.

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