Sunday, November 27, 2011

Review: Tangerine (Edward Bloor)

Title: Tangerine
Author: Edward Bloor
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Pages: 4296
Rating: 4 out of 5
Challenges
FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this from my school library
Summary (from Amazon): Paul Fisher is legally blind. He wears glasses so thick he looks like a bug-eyed alien, and kids tell a story about how he blinded himself by staring at an eclipse of the sun. But Paul doesn't remember doing that. And he doesn't mind the glasses, because with them he can see. Can see the this parents' constant praise of his brother, Erik, the football start, is to cover up something that is terribly wrong. But no one listens to Paul. Until his family moves to Tangerine.

Tangerine is like another planet, where weird is normal. Lightening strikes at the same time every day. Underground fires burn for years. A sinkhole swallows a local school. And Paul the geek finds himself adopted into the toughest group around--the soccer team at his middle school. Suddenly the blind can see, geeks can be cool, and--maybe--a twelve-year-old kid can finally face up to his terrifying older brother. In Tangerine, it seems, anything is possible.

Review: I read this book because my colleague read it a long time ago and really liked it. She is always trying to get our students to read it, but has a tough time convincing them. I figured if I read it we could both work to get them to read it and we might be a bit more successful. For the first half of the book I wasn't so sure that I would do much convincing. However, by the end of the book I do think I can convince a certain group of our students to give this book a try.

As the story progressed I realized that it wasn't just a story about a boy playing soccer and living in a strange town in Florida where the weather was NUTS and affected much of the action. This book really is about being truthful, loyal, open to new ideas, and standing up for what you know is right even when it isn't easy. And, those are great lessons for all of us at any age. I was really proud of Paul by the end of the book.

Geography Connection

(Tangerines play a major role in this story)
Click to see my updated Google Map. Another Florida book and this one is the one I've read that really made a difference where it was set! The citric groves and orchards play quite a role in this book, both for migrant workers, grove owners, students (Tangerine Middle School), and the townspeople (the city is called Tangerine).

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