Touch Blue

by Cynthia Lord
ages: 9+
First sentence: “‘The ferry’s coming!'”
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!

This is on my pile for Cybils reading, but Jen’s recent review prompted me to pull it off the pile sooner rather than later. And I’m so glad I did.

Tess lives in Bethsaida, a small fishing island off the coast of Maine. It’s so small, that they only have a one-room school, where her mother is the teacher. And because lobstering is no longer what it used to be, people keep moving off, and the state of Maine is threatening to close the school, which means Tess and her family would have to move.

That is, until Reverend Beal comes up with the idea to take on foster children. If they add as many children as those that have moved out, maybe they could save the school. Tess’s family is one of those who take on a foster child, a 13-year-old boy named Aaron. She hopes, and wishes, that this will be exactly what her family and the island (and maybe even Aaron) needs. But then, sometimes, everything you wish for doesn’t always turn out the way you’ve planned.

It’s a quiet book, one where the characters and setting are forefront, and shine like they should. Lord’s writing captured the quiet homeyness of island living — both the positive and the negative; there were some wonderfully nosy characters. She also captured the idea of finding a place; Aaron is a wonderfully complex character, someone who wants and needs a home, but is reluctant, because of his past, to dive in headfirst and give everything over to Tess and her family. It’s a slow process, one with bumps and hiccups, but because you care about the characters, you want it to succeed.

And with some luck, it will.

(Just for the record: because this is a Cybils nominee, I’ve been asked to make sure y’all know this is my opinion only, and not that of the panel.)

3 thoughts on “Touch Blue

  1. Cass — oh, good catch! Monopoly figures a bit into the book; it's Tess's younger sister's favorite game, and they play it a bit. I think it's representative of the lucky charms Tess collects obsessively, as well.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s