Want personalized picks that fit your family?
Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids.
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Paul Fisher can see things his parents can't, like how evil his older brother, Erik the football star, really is. He can see this even though he has been legally blind since an early-childhood accident he can't remember.
Now his family has moved to the bizarre town of Tangerine, where muck fires burn forever, lightning strikes at the same time each day, and half the school disappears into a sinkhole one afternoon. Paul's memories are starting to return--memories that lead to shocking revelations about his family. Meanwhile, he plays on the soccer team with the toughest Latino kids at school, kids who are beginning to accept him as one of their own.
Is it any good?
This complex, multilayered novel is impossible to synopsize briefly -- there's just too much going on, and every bit of it is engrossing and powerful. The author has a lot to say on a wide variety of subjects: race relations, child rearing, sports, class conflict, and more, but he does so in a book that is at once exciting, moving, strikingly original, and thought-provoking. Above all, TANGERINE is about the revelations that adolescents experience as they begin to step back and see their families through more detached eyes.
One 14-year-old said that the dizzying number of subplots could have been streamlined, for her taste, and that "sections in the first half of the book were slow." But this tale is richer and more inventive than most young-adult novels, so these seem like minor complaints. Bloor's first novel is a tour-de-force melding of the physical, intellectual, and emotional in a rich, resonant story.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why Paul's parents idolize his football-star older brother but fail to see his shortcomings.
Why does Erik behave the way that he does?
What was your reaction when
Paul finally found out what caused him to lose part of his sight?
you see Paul as a hero?
How did each of the main characters change over
the course of the book?
For kids who love underdogs
Our editors recommend
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.