by James DeVita, Wayne Mcloughlin

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Morgan is bored with his life. Nothing exciting ever happens in his house. He can calculate his parents' daily routine to the exact minute. He feels old before his time, with nothing to look forward to but more boredom.

Then one dreary Sunday, Morgan has a vision of a magnificent fish, a leaping marlin wild in the sea, a creature so free that it would rather


Morgan is bored with his life. Nothing exciting ever happens in his house. He can calculate his parents' daily routine to the exact minute. He feels old before his time, with nothing to look forward to but more boredom.

Then one dreary Sunday, Morgan has a vision of a magnificent fish, a leaping marlin wild in the sea, a creature so free that it would rather die than be tamed. The dream (if dream it is) is so vivid, Morgan feels a shocking rush of strength and speed racing through his veins, smells the salt air, and tastes the electricity of an impending ocean storm. For one brief exhilarating moment, sitting in a cramped apartment on a city block where every building looks exactly like the next, Morgan is that marlin, and from that moment on, he begins to change.

A comic Metamorphosis for kids, this poignant, gently humorous, and highly original tale by actor, playwright, and first-time novelist James DeVita is a tender testament to following one's heart. Through a series of miraculous and sometimes ridiculous events, Morgan comes to understand that he has the power to be whatever he wants to be — even a fish — as long as he believes in himself.

About the Author

James DeVita has been a professional actor for over fifteen years and is currently the Resident Playwright for First Stage Milwaukee Children's Theater. His original plays and new adaptations of classics include Dinosaur!, A Little House Christmas, Treasure Island, and Bambi: A Life in the Woods, which won the Distinguished Play Award from the American Alliance of Theater and Education. Blue is his first novel. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife, Brenda Bedard,and his children, Gale and Sophia.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Slack pacing mars this first novel, a fantasy about a boy who is, literally, a fish out of water. Morgan lives in a gray city with parents who are completely wrapped up in their own routines. After a talking marlin appears to Morgan in a dream, Morgan's transformation begins: he loves baths and develops a liking for anchovies, and scales begin to appear on his body. His parents rush him to the hospital, where doctors try to diagnose and cure him. Half-men, half-marlins rescue Morgan from the hospital (they stopped transforming because they "stopped believing"). DeVita's cleverest moments center around these half-marlins: they often talk and move in unison, like a school of fish, and wear overcoats and hats to hide their marlin marks. But the author spends so much time setting up the premise describing Morgan's physical changes, the doctors' study of these changes, Morgan's escape and then his fish training that readers never get to empathize with the characters, much less immerse themselves in Morgan's experience. Ages 10-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Morgan is bored with his life. After dreaming about a marlin one dreary Sunday afternoon, everything changes—especially Morgan. Beginning with scales on his legs and ending with the signature swordlike upper jaw, Morgan transforms completely into a marlin. As his the change in his physical appearance progresses, his parents doubt his sanity when he tells them that he wants to be a marlin, and the doctors are baffled yet fascinated—they smell medical journal glory. When Morgan's transformation nears completion, the doctors prepare to remove the fish parts surgically, but a school of half-marlin men come to the rescue. With the help of a bumbling nurse, his now converted and supportive parents, and the gang of nearly marlin men, Morgan is smuggled out of the hospital, quickly trained in the ways of squid eating and net and hook avoidance, and set free in the vast ocean—with evil physicians and the Coast Guard on his tail just a tad too late. Morgan's story is told without insight into the whys and hows of his transformation. The brief glimpse at his life reveals it to be humdrum but not so bad that his escape to marlinhood makes readers cheer for his release. The hand-wringing, confused parents; the insensitive doctors; and the comical-kinda-nurse are stereotypes with zero depth. The plot offers no surprises. Readers interested in transformations are better off re-reading Animorphs titles. Teen and 'tween anglers can find more excitement in nonfiction fishing guides, $14.89. VOYA CODES: 2Q 2P M J (Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High,defined as grades 7 to 9). 2001, HarperCollins, $14.95. Ages 12 to 15. Reviewer: Elaine McGuire SOURCE: VOYA, August 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 3)
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-Morgan's life is boring, his overprotective parents are dull, and his weekends are routinely uneventful. Then the boy dreams of being visited by a massive and beautiful fish, and suddenly his imagination becomes the mainstay of his life. When he becomes sick and feverish, he's rushed to the hospital, where his imagination and dreams merge, and thus begins Morgan's strange metamorphosis into a blue marlin. The doctors, smelling scientific glory, are driven to make medical history, and Morgan is curious and enthused about his situation. He's happy as a clam to be submerged into a big tank, his newly developing dorsal fin fanning out in full glory. The only unsettling conflict in his life is whether the doctors will perform emergency surgery to stop the mighty fin from completely emerging from, and simultaneously destroying, his spine. To the rescue come partially morphed marlin-men, helping Morgan to escape the surgery, and setting him free to swim away into the wild blue sea. The story unfolds slowly, scale by scale. While Morgan seems comfortable with his newfound destiny, there's never any driving cause that explains his need for such a dramatic transformation. Boredom on any given Saturday morning doesn't cut it. Without an emotionally engaged motive or monumental crisis to explain the protagonist's unquenchable desire to escape his life, the story remains shallow.-Alison Follos, North Country School, Lake Placid, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
1 ED
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.97(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Morgan had never been in an ambulance before. It was smaller inside than he had imagined. His mother and two paramedics were in the back with him, Mrs. Pasalaqua was in the front seat with the driver, and his father was following in the family car. Lights were flashing, sirens were screaming, and Morgan just wished they'd all stop making such a big deal.

"What's your name?" asked one of the paramedics. He flicked a small penlight across Morgan's eyes. "Do you know your name?"

"That's a stupid question," Morgan thought, "of course I know my name."

"Your name?" the guy asked again, this time putting his hand in front of Morgan's face. "Okay, how many fingers am I holding up? What day of the week is it? Do you know what today is?"

"What's with these guys?" thought Morgan. "C'mon, Morgan," said the other paramedic, "do you know where you are? Talk to us."

"Morgan? Morgan, honey, answer the man," his mother added.

Morgan tried to...but couldn't.

"Mmpghmmnghp" was all that came out. He tried to move his lips, but they wouldn't budge. "Mmpgghgmnp!" Still nothing. He couldn't open his mouth. He stretched his face and twisted his nose, dropped his chin, furrowed his brows, and pulled with all his might...but his lips wouldn't move.

"Stop making faces at the nice man, Morgan," snapped his mother.

"I'm not making faces, I can't open my mouth!" Morgan yelled, grabbing his mother's hand. But all that came out was "Aomn mou mghigh aieies, uaow ain ouwamm mm mmauoeu!"

The paramedic quickly leaned into Morgan with a puzzled look on his face. He reached across him, snatched up a tongue depressor, and aimedit at Morgan's mouth, but missed and stabbed the pillow as the ambulance swerved into the hospital parking lot and stopped with a sharp screech. The back doors were flung open, and the paramedics hurriedly began unclicking and reclacking all kinds of things. They rolled and bumped Morgan out of the ambulance and wheeled him across the parking lot. Morgan stared up at the night sky. The gurney popped a little wheelie as it thumped over a speed bump.

"This isn't a grocery cart, you know," Morgan thought, shooting the paramedic a look.

One more thump up a curb, and the stars disappeared from Morgan's view. The bright lights of the hospital loomed over him.

"Aiooioaiiouummphooieaiinuuaaiieeaae!" (Why is everybody making such a big deal!) he screamed.

The paramedics wheeled Morgan into the emergency room.

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