Bluefish by Pat Schmatz

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Travis is missing his old home in the country, and he’s missing his old hound, Rosco. Now there’s just the cramped place he shares with his well-meaning but alcoholic grandpa, a new school, and the dreaded routine of passing when he’s called on to read out loud. But that’s before Travis meets Mr. McQueen, who doesn’t take "pass" for an answer—a rare teacher whose savvy persistence has Travis slowly unlocking a book on the natural world. And it’s before Travis is noticed by Velveeta, a girl whose wry banter and colorful scarves belie some hard secrets of her own. With sympathy, humor, and disarming honesty, Pat Schmatz brings to life a cast of utterly believable characters—and captures the moments of trust and connection that make all the difference.

About Pat Schmatz

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Pat Schmatz is the author of three previous novels for teens. She lives in rural Wisconsin.
Published September 13, 2011 by Candlewick. 242 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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At his new school, Travis is surprised to land on the radar of confident, kind Velveeta, and he increasingly looks forward to her friendly overtures each day, even as he worries that she might discover a secret of which he's deeply ashamed.

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We Love This Book

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.

Mar 01 2013 | Read Full Review of Bluefish

Shelf Awareness

Eighth-grader Travis—who was called "Bluefish" at his old school—begins a tenuous friendship with classmate Velveeta in a novel about breaking molds and making your own future.

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The Horn Book

Travis’s story is told in third person, each chapter followed by a first-person narrative by Velveeta, and it’s a testament to Schmatz’s craft that she so eloquently brings two ordinary young people to life on the page, rooting the novel in subtleties that make all the difference — Travis’s prett...

Dec 07 2011 | Read Full Review of Bluefish

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