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Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
Tangerine Book Poster Image
A complex tale about teens, family relationships.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 16 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 87 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

This book's exciting sports scenes are interspersed with surprising
lessons about migrant workers, racism, environmental degradation, and
being a moral person and a team player.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main character is a likeable and talented young soccer player who
is legally blind. His older brother is also a star athlete; but by
contrast, he's a thoroughly unlikable bully whose nefarious activities
eventually turn criminal.


A brawl turns into manslaughter.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the contrasting brothers may hit a little too close to home for some families.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bybob13 April 9, 2008

It was horrible

I thought this was a bad book
Adult Written bypage July 1, 2009

Highly recommended

This book is phenomenal. It is thought-provoking and inspirational. It serves as a great 'dress rehearsal' for tweens and teens as they will face ma... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byXfunnydragon13X July 23, 2010

perfect for kids 13 and up

I loved this book it was amazing, everybody should read it! it does become violent towards the end. Not very many bad words but they do say piss. hell, and ass.... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

Was fun

This book can be kinda boring at first but once u actually start to read into it is is a amazing book. It could have been better but it had a suspensful feel to... Continue reading

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?

  • Do

  • you see Paul as a hero?

  • How did each of the main characters change over

  • the course of the book?

Book details

For kids who love underdogs

Our editors recommend

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