Recently, I finished the book, “Tangerine,” a realistic fiction book by an author named Edward Bloor. He is a writer of novels for young adults, best known for Tangerine and a book titled London Calling. Tangerine is a very interesting book. It’s mostly about a boy, named Paul, who recently moved to Tangerine, Florida from Houston, Texas. The book is narrated by him and takes us through his life so far in Tangerine. This is an interesting book because it describes what it’s like to move to a new place and how hard it might be to meet new people. It’s also very interesting because the book is slightly old, so you hear about a lot of old technology.
Throughout the book, Paul comes to a lot of realizations as to what weird things go on in Tangerine. With the help of some new friends he has made, Paul starts to discover what actually lies beneath the surface of his new hometown. He also gains the courage to face up to some secrets that his family has been keeping since he was born!
In the novel, Paul is going into his last year of middle school at Lake Windsor Middle. His goal is to play soccer and make friends. However, because of his vision, Paul is told that he can’t be on the team and is called “handicapped.” When Paul was little, he looked directly into a solar eclipse, impairing his vision and making it so that he has extremely thick glasses. His coach says that his IEP wasn’t acceptable for the team. This made Paul really upset because the soccer team is what he was most looking forward to with this move. Throughout this part of the book, Paul begins to get jealous about the fact that nothing ever goes right for him and it always goes well for Erik, his brother who is a football star at their new school. Paul feels that his dad would rather support the “Erik Fisher Football Dream” than him and starts to feel like he means nothing in his own house, however, he starts to feel better at thought of his mother who doesn’t really acknowledge the fact that Erik has so much going for him. After these series of events go down, a massive rainstorm hits Tangerine and creates a sinkhole at the middle school. This sinkhole causes massive disaster at the middle school which causes it to close down for about a month or two. Following this, the middle school faculty plans a relocation plan and it gives students the choice to go to the Catholic school on the county or Tangerine Middle school. Paul chooses Tangerine Middle in hopes to join the soccer team there. He decides to go out for the team, getting on but knowing he most definitely will not be a starter. However, Paul doesn’t mind this. He is just happy to be at a new school on a new team, feeling like he has a fresh start. He enjoys this new school and meets lots of new friends and finds new interests.
Throughout the book, I liked the way the narrator, Paul, thought about what other people’s perspective on a situation may be. Paul usually asks himself: “Why does this person react differently to this than me?” and “What could I do to make this different for myself and others?” He also sometimes asks himself, “How could this problem get fixed and what can I do to fix it?” I think this shows a lot about the main character and it goes deeper into his mind. Usually in books, we can’t get a lot of intel as to what is going on the narrator’s head and what they are feeling.
I also like the fact that the book was like a journal entry. For example: “Friday, August 28 For mom, the move from Texas to Florida was a military operation…” (Page 1) I like this because it gives the reader a better understanding as to when these events are taking place.
One other thing I noticed is that the narrator is very repetitive. There are many instances in the book where the character repeats himself. For example, Paul passes the Tangerine groves everyday on the way to school and expresses interest in them every time. At some parts of the book, this was slightly annoying, however it starts to come together by the end of the book and as you read it, it’s easier to understand why Paul has such an interest in the groves.
Overall, Tangerine is a great book and I would definitely read it a second time. The book is slightly difficult to understand at first, however you learn a very valuable lesson and how difficult it is to love to a new school and such. I would recommend this book to any young kids who have trouble with sports or have just recently moved.