Blue Fish – Pat Schmatz
When Travis joins his new school it’s clear that something is wrong in his life but he keeps his head down and tries to ignore everyone. However, he can’t ignore Velveeta who finds him intriguing and so she tries to find out what makes him tick.
It would be easy to see this as a predictable novel of friends united against an unfair world but something in the writing makes this a simple and touching tale of innocence trying to cope with an adult world of poverty, low expectations and alcoholism. It has a positive message and a positive ending and leaves you feeling a little bit heartbroken but also very happy and hopeful.
This is one of those books that will be read very differently by children and adults. For children it is reassuring and redemptive, adults will be hit by the hopelessness of poverty and the narrowness of life expectation for some children. Nonetheless it really is a nice book!
Good for boys and girls, 10+