Thursday, August 26, 2010

TOUCH BLUE by Cynthia Lord

The residents of a small island community off the coast of Maine have been told their island school is in danger of being closed by the state.  The news has some of those residents taking action.  Here's the plan - a few families have agreed to take foster children into their homes hoping that the added students are enough to save their school.

Tess Brooks has reason to be doubly excited about the arrival of thirteen year old Aaron.  First of all, her mother is the one and only teacher at their small school, and closing the school would mean her losing her job.  If that happens, Tess knows her family would be forced to move from the island to the mainland so her mother could get a new job.  All Tess has ever known is an island life.  Moving would mean leaving the best place on earth.

The other reason Tess has to be excited is that Aaron's arrival means she will have a big brother.  He may be only two years older, but Tess is used to being the oldest and she thinks it would be nice to have someone else as a companion besides her usually annoying little sister.

What Tess is not expecting is that Aaron might not love the island like she does.  He is polite enough, but he's mostly moody and quiet and not even interested in exploring his new home.  Aaron spends his time in his attic room playing his trumpet.  It takes all Tess's skill and patience to convince him to join her in enjoying the summer on the island.  As Aaron comes out of his shell, Tess discovers his secrets and concerns and vows to help him solve his biggest problem.

Cynthia Lord's new book TOUCH BLUE is the emotional story of a group of well-meaning people and how they touch the life of one lonesome, confused boy.  Readers will enjoy Lord's humor as well as her colorful descriptions of the picturesque little island and its interesting mix of inhabitants.  I also enjoyed that each chapter begins with one of the superstitions Tess religiously believes help to guide through life.

No comments: