September 10, 2015

Tangerine by Edward Bloor

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 1:49 am by suebe2

bloortangerineTangerine
by Edward Bloor
Scholastic

Ask Paul Fisher why he’s afraid of his older brother and he can’t really say.   He just knows that it is better to stay out of Eric’s way, especially when it comes to the Eric Fisher Football Dream.  Their father has it all plotted out complete with the best position for his brother to play, what records he needs to set and what universities offer the best opportunities.

What his parents fail to notice is that Paul is as much an athlete in his own right.  In spite of thick glasses and special sports goggles, Paul is a top-notch middle school soccer player.  He was the starting goalie at his old school and looks forward to playing in Tangerine County.

His dreams are almost shattered with the coach refuses to let him on the field.  He claims that because of Paul’s vision and his IEP he is ineligible.

When a sinkhole swallows several of the middle school’s outdoor class rooms, Paul takes advantage of the opportunity to attended middle school across the county on “the wrong side of the tracks,” or in this case on the wrong side of the citrus groves.

Yes, it’s rougher than his local school.  Yes, the school is more diverse.  But there are honors classes and Paul has the chance to play soccer if he is willing to give up his position in the goal and play on a team that includes girls.

Bloor does an amazing job of weaving together the two stories — Paul’s desire to play soccer and his relationship with his brother and his whole family. Slowly Paul starts to remember what happened to his eyes and he finally understands why he’s afraid of his brother.  The question remains — can he overcome his fears to do what is right by his new team and the friends in his neighborhood?

This is a book that I’ve loved for years and was shocked to realize I haven’t reviewed.  Bloor does a top-notch job dropping tiny bits of information regarding what happened in Paul’s past.  But this isn’t just a story of family dynamics.  It shows how beliefs that we have influence how we see people both in our families but also in our communities.  This book is an excellent jumping off point for discussions about trust, truth and integrity as well as community and diversity.

–SueBE

 

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