Thursday, June 14, 2012

Review: Bluefish

Bluefish by Pat Schmatz

Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: September 13th 2011
Pages: 240
Source: Library
Genre: Middle Grade, Contemporary

Travis is missing his old home in the country, and he’s missing his old hound, Rosco. Now there’s just the cramped place he shares with his alcoholic grandpa, a new school, and the dreaded routine of school. But that’s before Travis meets Mr. McQueen, who doesn’t take "pass" for an answer—a rare teacher whose savvy persistence has Travis slowly unlocking a book on the natural world. And it’s before Travis is noticed by Velveeta, a girl whose wry banter and colorful scarves belie some hard secrets of her own. With sympathy, humor, and disarming honesty, Pat Schmatz brings to life a cast of utterly believable characters—and captures the moments of trust and connection that make all the difference.
Bluefish is a cute, short story about a boy named Travis who has just moved into town, and on the first day of school meets a girl named Velveeta. Travis and Velveeta couldn't be more different. Velveeta is outgoing and loud while Travis is quiet and somewhat boring. Throughout the story different secrets are revealed to each other about their struggles and slowly the create a friendship that helps them though their struggles.

Bluefish depicts two very different characters with very opposing, and unique personalities. Travis is the very quiet, troubled boy who moves into town. Travis has always had trouble in school and now in middle school he is for the first time getting help with his difficulty reading. Velveeta, on the other hand is a very outgoing, loud, and very smart girl who also has family issues, just as Travis does. Both Travis and Velveeta are very artistically portrayed characters with beautiful personalities that are written very well and very clearly. The story revolves around the friendship of Travis and Velveeta and how the two friends deal with their troubles both academically and with their families.

The end of the book seems to be very open and left for the reader to continue. The story is wrapped up but the story didn't seem complete, it felt as if something was missing in the story. Overall the story was very different than many books I have read and was very well written, though loose threads are left at the end.

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