Saturday, January 22, 2011

Touch Blue, by Cynthia Lord

When Tess's best friend moves away, it leaves a gap in her life and threatens the ability of her small Maine island to keep its school. Short the requisite number of children to keep their island school open, the folks decide to foster a group of children to raise their numbers. The result is the arrival of Aaron, a slightly older boy who has been kicked around a bit and has the cynicism to show for it. Tess and her family really want to provide Aaron with the home he hasn't had, but they are in way over their depth. Still, Tess's optimism and superstitions seem to serve them well.

A fairly brisk and pleasant read. Unlike Rules, there is less of an agenda in this novel and more storytelling. Tess is very engaging and strong. She doesn't always make the best decisions, but she is appealing. Some of the storylines falter a bit (Tess's loneliness, conflicts with the local bully), but the overall message that home is what you make of it is pleasing and all of the local color makes for decent entertainment.

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