January 6, 2012

Touch Blue

This one does not count for the TBR Double Dare.  I don't own it and I read it before January 1.  I got it from the library to see if it was something I should buy for the school library.  (It is.)

Cynthia Lord's book Rules is a big hit around here so it'll be easy to get some kids interested in Touch Blue. I've already talked it up to one of our 5th grade teachers who is from Maine and she's intrigued.

It takes place on one of those many island lobstering communities up in Maine.  The problem is, a family of five just moved away and there many no longer be enough students to keep their little community school going.  Everyone with children would probably have to move to the mainland.  Before the first pages of the book, they have come up with what they hope is a happy solution.  Some of the families will take in a foster child.  That way someone in need will get a place to stay and the school will have enough students.

The problem is, the main character, Tess, is so worried about having to be uprooted and moved somewhere new, she doesn't see that the foster brother she now has, Aaron, is going through exactly that.  He's a city kid away from his mother (who we know is trying to get her life back together) and stuck now on an island in the middle of nowhere as far as he's concerned.  It's a prison, not an opportunity in his eyes.  So Tess and her younger sister's dreams of a boy version of Anne of Green Gables doesn't exactly come true.

It's warmhearted story and Tess does indeed learn to change her perspective and see things from Aaron's point of view.  Aaron finally starts breaking down his walls and interacting with his adopted family and community.  Unfortunately, Tess is a big woo-woo believer in luck and all it's forms (apparently this has something to do with being from a fishing community) so there's a ton of superstition.  The title and every chapter heading refer to some arcane bit of superstitious folklore to gain luck.

It's a well-written, if slightly predictable.  The ending was managed well.  Realistic and not too pat.