Tangerine Author:Edward Bloor 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 that his parents’ constant praise of his bro... more »ther Erik, the football star, 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. Lightning 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 of 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.
American Library Association Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults, 1998
Edgar Allan Poe Award nomination for Best Young Adult Novel, 1998
American Booksellers Association Pick of the List, 1997
New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing, 1997
My son had to read this book for school, and since he is legally blind, I read it to him.
The main character, Paul, goes through main different struggles. He has to deal with a threatening, abusive older brother and his mean friend; fitting in to a new school; being accepted on the soccer team and being different - as he is legally blind. My son and I were always eager to continue on the days reading for the book. It deals with anger, abuse, jealousy and even death. My 13 year old son liked this book better than any of the other chapter books that we have read together before. It worked especially well for us, since my son and the main character are both legally blind.
I read this book because it was the book for a buck in Scholastic's book order several years ago. When I began I was unsure seemed like a big Sports book and I am not a sports kind of reader.
I realized after a few pages that this journal entry stlye text was a mystery and an expose on life in general. Many people deal with intense issues in their personal lives: poverty, gangs, racial bias, relocation, abuse, neglect, crime, sports, extended family---including in-laws, friends, teen games/pranks, fights, trying to fit in, limited abilities/disabilities, dreams, choices; TANGERINE touches them all. this book is about life.
It's strength lies in the fact that, I believe, all readers can connect and see a meaningful message for themselves in the lives presented through the words of Paul Fisher.
PERFECT FOR YOUNG READERS-- and the young at heart.
Reviewed by Mark Frye, author and reviewer for TeensReadToo.com
TANGERINE is a surreal novel strong in pacing and character development. From the opening page to the very end, Edward Bloor takes the reader on a breakneck course through one family's conflict with the past and its devastating impact on the present. Paul Fisher's nightmare experiences in the shadow of his older brother come to a climax after the family moves from Houston to Tangerine, Florida, a fallen Eden of sorts. He narrates his experiences in the new community with intensity and passion regarding the problems they face. A tension remains until the very end.
Paul is an outsider from the very beginning. He is the younger brother of teen football legend, Erik Fisher. Their father dotes on Erik, living out his own frustrated athletic dreams in a sad, pathetic manner. Their mother endures their father, holding the family together with equal parts denial, busy-ness, and critical intensity. She is hyper-involved in all of the family's business, a contrast to her husband, who is focused solely on Erik's success on the field. Both deliberately turn a blind eye to Erik's moral failings, which include a propensity for violence and a complete lack of empathy for others. He is a textbook sociopath and the world merely a gaggle of potential victims.
Bloor guides the reader through the novel's 300-plus pages building upon each character with incident upon incident that reveals their true nature and failings. Paul and his parents are forced to face their own cowardice and complicity at several key junctures of the story, particularly during the break-ins and the events that led to the death of Luis Cruz. Facing their failings leaves them broken, but broken for potential rebirth as a better family unit.
The novel's message builds upon itself through the evolution of each character: burying a wrong under a bushel of denial takes a terrible toll.