Last week, I regret to say I lost my job. It is very easy to fall into the cycle of pity. To think like a broken record and say 'Why me? Why me? Why me?' Tangerine by Edward Bloor helped me break out of the 'why me'. It showed me that no matter what happens you can still have a new beginning.
I was reluctant to pick up Tangerine. I was told it was the best thing since HOLES, but I knew that it centered around sports. Lets face it, I'm not into sports. Many writers aren't into sports. By taking a look at the cover and reading the blurb you gain that Tangerine is the story of Paul, a kid that loves soccer but has the eyesight of a bat. It had come as a recommendation from a friend of mine at Absolute Write, because I needed to read some of the edgier middle-grade stories to help with a new work-in-progress. I was not prepared at how dark a story like this could be.
When Paul moves with his parents and older brother to Tangerine, you start to think 'Oh great, another one of THOSE stories'. New kid in school rises to the top and gains the love of everyone. I was very wrong to think that. The story has an amazing voice, and the secondary characters are fleshed out better than many of the adult novels I read.
The story starts off slow, Paul has memory loss at how he lost his vision, but through *SPOILERS* a lot of build up you find that Paul's older brother Eric was the cause. Tangerine contains murder, abuse, and neglect but only brief strong language. If you are reading this as a parent, I would consider reading Tangerine for yourself because you may not find it suitable for your younger children (stronger readers under age eleven). Otherwise Tangerine is a spectacular read if a little draggy at times.