Tangerine by Edward Bloor.
Reviewed by Nathan
Tangerine is a novel that follows the life of Paul Fisher as he moves into a new home in Tangerine County, Florida. Paul's sight depends on extremely thick and round glasses, caused by a supposed " eclipse " that he stared directly into as a young child. He lives in the shadow of his older brother Erik, a star football kicker, whose football dream is heavily supported by his parents. Many things in Tangerine are different and hard to adjust to, such as the " muck fires " that burn, releasing so much smoke you can't see, there's also lightning that strikes daily, and even a sinkhole that destroys Paul's local school, Lake Windsor Middle. However, Paul finds a place in Tangerine Middle School on the soccer team, where he makes new friends who help him learn more about the town and its secrets as they dominate during the soccer season. Paul is also introduced to Luis Cruz, an older brother of Paul's teammate, Tino Cruz. Luis is trying to develop a revolutionary new Tangerine, the Golden Dawn. Unfortunately, Luis is killed, and the cause of death was supposedly a branch that fell and burst an aneurysm in his brain. Through Luis's death and many other incidents, Paul reveals many secrets his family kept from him, including the true reason for his poor eyesight and the true personality behind Erik's football-loving facade.
I think that Tangerine is an unorthodox and well-written novel that contains many life lessons and things to contemplate on. Orange-growing Florida is an interesting setting with many key elements that add to the story and its events. Tangerine is a novel written in the perspective of Paul Fisher in a way that middle-school-aged students, both girls and boys, can relate to and follow easily. The action may occasionally slow down throughout the story, but many events happen that make Paul's life in Tangerine interesting. There are many things to take away from this novel, as Paul's view on Tangerine changes over time, and as he realizes and thinks about the numerous things that have happened in his life in Tangerine. Overall, I think that Tangerine is a novel that most readers middle-school-aged and up would find enjoyable, and is a great story with a lot of meaning inside.