Author: Pat Schmatz
First published September 13, 2011
240 pages, Paperback
ISBN: 9780763663414 (ISBN10: 0763663417)
“Experience the transformative power of reading with Bluefish, a heartwarming and honest novel by Pat Schmatz. Thirteen-year-old Travis harbors a secret that threatens to hold him back from academic success: he can’t read.
However, with the help of his determined teacher Mr. McQueen, and the unlikely friendship of sassy classmate Velveeta, Travis learns to unlock the world of books and delve into the wonders of nature. With witty banter and relatable characters, Bluefish is a powerful reminder of the significance of connection, trust, and the magic of literature.”
About the Author
Pat’s childhood was spent in rural Wisconsin, but she has since lived in various states including Michigan, California, and Minnesota. Writing is one of her passions, but she’s also intrigued by language study, including ASL, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish.
Furthermore, Pat enjoys drawing and cartooning, traveling, and spending time outdoors. From time to time, she teaches writing both online and in-person, and she loves the opportunity to visit middle and high school classrooms.
Her favorite pastime, which has remained constant since she was a child, is immersing herself in stories – whether they’re found in books, music, art, or dance. It’s all about the story for her.
Bluefish by Pat Schmatz is a Young Adult novel that was first published on September 13th, 2011. Schmatz is an award-winning writer who primarily focuses on writing books for young adults.
In Bluefish, Schmatz writes about the struggles of growing up, facing grief, and finding unlikely friendships. This book is an excellent example of the Young Adult genre, with all of its challenges, joys, and tribulations.
The story follows a young boy named Travis, who is struggling to deal with the loss of his grandfather. As Travis tries to cope with his grief, he happens to meet a girl named Velveeta, who is an outcast at school.
The two unlikely friends develop a bond as they navigate their complicated lives, and they soon discover that the connection they share is much deeper than they imagined. The setting of the story is in a small town in Wisconsin, and Schmatz writes about this place with detail and care.
The characters in the book are all well-rounded, and they have unique personalities and challenges that make them relatable to readers. What makes Bluefish stand out is that it tackles heavy themes such as bullying, loss, and identity while still remaining accessible to readers of all ages.
One of the strengths of this book is Schmatz’s writing style. She writes with simplicity, but her words have a profound impact.
The pacing of the plot is also excellent, with just the right amount of tension and resolution to keep the readers engaged throughout. Schmatz’s use of metaphors and symbols gives extra depth to the story, and they add an extra layer of meaning to the already poignant themes.
Furthermore, Schmatz’s treatment of LGBTQ characters in the book was excellent. The way Schmatz portrayed these characters was refreshing and empowering, and it was a step forward in the right direction for representation in the Young Adult genre.
My only criticism of the book would be that at times, Schmatz relies too heavily on emotional manipulation to convey the story’s message. However, this is a minor flaw in an otherwise beautiful book.
Overall, I would highly recommend Bluefish by Pat Schmatz to any Young Adult reader who is looking for a touching, heartfelt story that addresses important issues in a positive light. The book has a deeply resonant message and contains valuable life lessons.
It’s a beautiful book that is perfect for readers of any age. On a scale of 1-10, I would rate this book a solid 9.