Books are hindrances to persisting stupidity.
-- Spanish Proverb

Elementary readersUpper elementary readersMiddle school readersHigh school readers
10 stars

Tangerine

AR: 4.3
Lexile: 680
RC: 5.4
by Edward Bloor
Long Picture Book
Genre: Realistic Fiction

Original post — Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Paul is a “legally blind” soccer-playing 14-year old living in the shadow of his older football-star brother. And, as Paul knows all too well, it can be pretty scary in the shadows! He and his family — older brother Erik, a busybody mom, and a football-obsessed dad — move to the new community of Lake Windsor Downs in Florida. Once there, Erik immediately begins to make a name for himself as the newest "big thing" on the local high-school football team, just like everyone in his family expects. What NOBODY expected, however, was that the local middle-school, Paul's school, was going to fall into a fifty-yard wide sinkhole. And nobody expected Paul to transfer to Tangerine Middle School — where all the gangstas and homeboys go — just so he can have another chance to play soccer. And nobody expected Paul to remember the truth about how he lost his sight!

I loved this book! It was written as a series of "diary" entries by Paul, so we get to read about everything he is feeling. Boy, is he feeling a lot! See, Paul really doesn't like himself. I think he believes he must be this great big loser because nothing he does is ever good enough for his parents since they are all obsessed with the "Erik Fisher Football Dream." But through a series of events, he discovers that he has talent, charm, and courage. He also remembers pieces of his life when he was much younger. As he puts together the pieces, he discovers how his eyesight was damaged. I won't tell you how, but I will tell you that it wasn't pretty! This book is very well written and the story is compelling. I literally read it in two days because I could not put it down! (It is 1:40 in the morning as I write this review, having just now finished reading.) It has realistic characters and dialogue (so important for this age-level book) and exciting events. The ending is one of the most satisfying endings I have read in a long time. Paul is a good kid in a bad situation. By the time I got to the end, I was so proud of what he had become! I urge everyone older than 10 to try this book, especially if you like playing soccer or reading good fiction. Highly recommended for boyz!

(Last modified:04/15/2008)

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