A Solitary Blue

A Solitary Blue

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by Cynthia Voigt
     
 

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A Newbery Honor–winning installment of the Cynthia Voigt’s classic Tillerman series is repackaged with a fresh new look.

Jeff Greene was only seven when he came home from school to find a note from his mother. She felt that the world needed her more than her “grown up” son did. For someone who believed she could see the

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Overview

A Newbery Honor–winning installment of the Cynthia Voigt’s classic Tillerman series is repackaged with a fresh new look.

Jeff Greene was only seven when he came home from school to find a note from his mother. She felt that the world needed her more than her “grown up” son did. For someone who believed she could see the world’s problems so clearly, she was blind to the heartache and difficulties she pushed upon her son, leaving him with his reserved, undemonstrative father.

So when, years later, she invites Jeff to spend summers with her in Charleston, Jeff is captivated by her free spirit and warmth, and a happiness he’s been missing fills him. But Jeff's second visit ends with a devastating betrayal and an aching feeling of loneliness. In life, there can be emotional pits so deep that seemingly nothing will grow—but if he digs a little deeper, Jeff might just come out on the other side.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Jeff Greene is 7 years old when he is abandoned by his mother and left in the care of his unapproachable, reserved father, whom he calls Professor. He adjusts to a series of male student caregivers ("women are too unreliable," says his father) until he is-too soon-left mostly to care for himself. When his mother unexpectedly re-enters his life the summer before his twelfth birthday, he convinces himself that her warmth and breezy nature is a substitute for love and nurturing. When he returns to visit his mother the following summer, he is able to see both his mother's true selfishness, and his father's steadfast love. From the first heart-wrenching page through the end of Part I, the story is told with an unflinching narrative that explores the heartache of a child too eager to please out of fear that he will be abandoned. His growing sense of security-in spite of disappointment-is a joy to follow. Part II, in which Jeff and his father build a life and a community together, is engaging. We learn of Jeff's relationship with Dicey Tillerman, a young girl who is the subject of Voigt's other books in the series. Perhaps because Part II attempts to weave Jeff's story with the previous two books, the flow of the narrative slows and, at times, confuses. However, the strength of the characters and the honest tone of the story are ultimately compelling. 2003 (orig. 1983), Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster, Ages 12 up.
— Barbara Allen Burke
From the Publisher
USA Today Honest, controlled and uncompromising.

New York Times Book Review Beautifully written.

Booklist starred review Richly resonant — perhaps the best Voigt venture yet.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Beautifully knit, a compelling and intelligent novel.

Horn Book A fine achievement.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442428805
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
03/06/2012
Series:
Tillerman Cycle Series, #3
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
298,142
Product dimensions:
5.54(w) x 9.26(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Cynthia Voigt won the Newbery Medal for Dicey’s Song and the Newbery Honor Award for A Solitary Blue, both part of the beloved Tillerman Cycle. She is also the author of many other celebrated books for middle-grade and teen readers, including Jackaroo and Izzy, Willy-Nilly. She was awarded the Margaret A. Edwards Award in 1995 for her work in literature, and the Katahdin Award in 2004. She lives in Maine.

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A Solitary Blue 4 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 67 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was really good. As the book progressed it got alot better even though the beginning really confused me. I defenitly reccomend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like pi and pie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really really liked this book. I couldn't put it down and I finished it in one day. I definitely recommend this book!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A Solitary Blue follows the life of a boy named Jeff Greene from age seven to eighteen. Even when he is only seven years old, Jeff is a self-sufficient person who is well-behaved, makes every effort to stay out of his parents’ way and keeps to himself. He has developed into a solitary little boy out of necessity, obviously, because it seems his parents are too preoccupied with their work to give him the attention he should receive as their son. They keep Jeff busy and out of the way by, for example, enrolling him in both morning and afternoon kindergarten. The reader gets the impression that Jeff is an unwanted child; perhaps Jeff senses it too. The book begins with Jeff coming home from school and finding a letter from his mother, Melody, informing him that she has left him because she needs to go and make the world a better place. The content of her letter reveals how messed up her priorities are. She claims that she wants to make the world a better place for her son and other children, and yet she fails to see that she can do the most good by being a mother to Jeff. Jeff, only seven years old at the time when Melody walks out on the family, is devastated and begins to develop a fear that his father, who he calls the Professor, would abandon him as well. He believes he must prevent this from happening by retreating into his shell and not cause any trouble that would upset his father. The details of Jeff’s home life before Melody leaves gives further insight into how she neglects her son for the sake of her “causes”. However, Jeff, puts his mother on a pedestal and cherishes every bit of attention she shows him, which is not that much or often because she is too busy planning a meeting or organizing a demonstration. Beneath the beauty and charm, and the thin façade of magnanimity is someone who is actually very immature, selfish, manipulative, and, yes, heartless. It is very cruel of Melody to burden her son with the responsibility of being “grown up” enough to accept her decision to walk out on him because she has been unhappy. A reasonable, responsible, loving mother would not expect that from her seven-year-old child. For the next four years, Jeff and his father manage to go on with their lives without Melody. Then Melody reenters Jeff’s life and eventually hurts him so deeply, causing him to become severely depressed and despondent. Melody’s cruel treatment had damaged Jeff to the point that he feels so fragile that he could easily shatter into a thousand pieces. To cope with the unbearable pain, Jeff creates an imaginary tower, in which he can take refuge. By completely shutting everyone out when he is in his tower, he thinks he can protect himself from being hurt by anyone else. His father can see the emotional pit that Jeff is in and becomes alarm with concern for his son. With the help of his friend, Brother Thomas, the Professor reaches out to Jeff and learns what Melody has done to him. The Professor goes through great lengths to help Jeff heal, and as he opens up to his son, we can see that underneath the reserve exterior, the Professor is a caring father who loves his son. One of the most touching moment in the book is when Jeff and his father start to connect through their shared experience of being hurt by Melody. The Professor finally tells Jeff that he cares for him, although he never learned how to show it. From that point on they begin to reveal their love for each other in their own way. As they forge a bond, they become more of a family unit, instead of just co-existing as two strangers in the same household. When it comes to Melody, both are weak and powerless to her emotional manipulation. However, for the sake of protecting the other one, each was able to summon up the strength and courage to fight Melody. Their willingness to be strong for each other reveals how much they care for one another. It’s a very sweet story of a father and son who starts off as strangers and ends up becoming a family. Jeff and the professor are very endearing characters, quiet and reserve on the surface, but full of goodness underneath –and, with just the right amount of humor to win the hearts of the readers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I very much enjoyed A SOLITARY BLUE because I had been wondering about Jeff's personal story. Can't wait for the rest of the Tillerman series to be available!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You should really read this book if you havent its amazing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RayanneKristaTamaraAustin More than 1 year ago
When reading Solitary Blue by Cynthia Voigt, I was not impressed. I was expecting more of a intriguing plot line. I thought the over-all plot was dull in the sense of how Voigt talked about Jeff's life. I found it difficult to keep turning the pages because the same sequence of events kept repeating themselves over and over, throughout the whole book. The book attempts to show the relationship between divorced parents and the connection that they both have to share with the child. It is not successful in the sense of showing the relationship because the word choice and details are not captivating. In most books, the child go through a series of emotions and problems, but Cynthia Voigt only see's one side of the father/mother connection to the child, such as; Voigt only explains how Jeff wants to be perfect for his father and mother, but doesn't ever describe how all of the characters relationship is as a whole. The lack of anayzing all the emotions each character goes through, is the main downfall and why I wouldn't recommend this book. The novel starts off with 7 year old Jeff receiving a devastating letter from his mother, Melody, the letter states that she could not be with him any longer. Being such a young boy, Jeff was mind boggled on how to handle his mother leaving him with his unemotional and workaholic father. Although they didn't have a great relationship he didn't want the Professor to leave. Many years later, Jeff gets a letter from his mother asking if Jeff wants to stay with her for the summer in Charleston, South Carolina. After visiting his mother for the second time, he finds out her true personality; a side of her that he would have never expected.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A Solitary Blue This book was easy to connect with. It talks about parents, family, and how to deal with divorce. It is a very emotional as you go through the story. Many people can connect with this book. It mostly talks about how Jeff reconnects with his mother. Jeff's father never shows any love for him or anything and shen he visits his mom she gives him everything. Can you imagine not being loved by your own dad? Some people might say this book is boring, but if you read this book you will be captivated and surprised. The story has a deeper than life meaning that will wrap you up in the words and the story. The real connection goes towards children who's parents are divorced or getting divorded. A Solitary Blue really makes you think that maybe, just maybe, sometimes divorce is the best option. Even though Jeff is in the middle and loves both parents he sees each of their weaknesses. The choice and amount of literary elements used in this story is fenominal. The way the words meld together form pictures in the mind of the reader. Not only are the characters deep, but so are the words they use. Each character brings a new spice to the table. Dicey brings fire and more emotion than the Professor and Jeff combined can create. The Tillermans work hard and try, which is one reason why Jeff enjoys being with them. Melody broke poor Jeffie's heart so many times that he doesn't know what to do about her. Much repitition is used to good use. It enhances the story in a way that words alone cannot commuicate. Some humor may be dry, but it adds a light-hearted feel to A Solitary Blue. Inner connections commuicate the way that the characters interact. We would suggest this to any avid reader that enjoys books and understands the deeper meanings of the words.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
louise bates More than 1 year ago
read this book for school an its terrible
Lily Larkin More than 1 year ago
A solitary blue is a great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BLACKFIREKD More than 1 year ago
this book was so boring i couldnt get past the first chapter plus the chapters are like 40 pages long .i would rather read twilight and thats saying a lot
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book A Solitary Blue is about a little boy who had been abandoned by his mother at a young age, Jeff has to raise himself. He had then gone on to live the next few years of his life doing everything by himself, until he gets sick with bronchial pneumonia. His father, the professor, hadn't noticed him getting sicker until he was bedridden. In desperation the professor had no choice but to call Jeff's mother. Worried about her son, she invited him to stay with her for the summer. After learning about his mother's side of the family, he comes along some pretty tough decisions in his life that would break the hearts of family members. All in all, the book was just mediocre. Just picture it this way the author went swinging for the fences but only got walked. The author gives vivid details about everything, but some time there is too much as over describing. One other problem I saw with this book was how the dialogue was worded. First, the author would not care to start a new paragraph when someone else was talking. Secondly, the author would diversify between different words, such as said. The author would only use said, never cried, never responded, or yelled, just said. On a lighter note the author did do a good job in showing us through Jeff's childhood and high school years, but most of all she explained the decisions that he had to make to keep everybody happy. I recommend that you do read this book, but it might be a tearjerker so it would be a good Idea to bring tissues, although I do not recommend for student in high school, you will lose interest. Fast!
Chelsea58 More than 1 year ago
Jeff Greene was seven years old when his mother left him. The Professor, his father, wasn't much of a guardian and didn't know how to even communicate with his son. Jeff eventually learned to care for himself including cook food, go to school, and raise himself all together. A few years later Melody, his mother, came back into his life wrapping love around Jeff. Remember what it was like having a mother he instantly fell in love with everything about her. The next summer Jeff went up to see her only to find out she wasn't what she seemed to be. Jeff then returns home knowing he wasn't going back. His mother tried to come back and with surprise, Jeff told her he didn't want her in his life. I give this book a four out of five. This book had strong points and at times, makes you want to cry. Also, it gives a better understanding on how you can't let people walk all over you whether you love them or not. You need to know when to say no. I enjoyed reading this book because I have some connections to Jeff's problems. I encourage you to read this book if you are looking for an emotional but enjoyable story. -Chelsea
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A Solitary Blue A Solitary Blue is about a boy name Jeffery but is called "Jeffie." In the beginning his mom left him at the age of seven. From that point he had to raise himself because his father was a professor at a university. When Jeffie's mom, Melody, was around she constantly warned him not to bother his dad and would tell him that he didn't like kids. Jeffery's drive to please everybody was strong and he always was happy to satisfy his father's needs. As Jeffie grew older his mother wanted to be a part of his life. His father thought it would be good if Jeffie go and see his mother in Virginia. When he arrived at the airport Melody was late picking him up, which only proved her untrustworthiness even more. After she picked him up, she brought him to the most beautiful home, which belonged to "Gambo" which was Melody's grandmother also, Jeffie's great-grandmother. When he gets into his room, he immediately falls asleep. The next morning him and his mom spend some time together and get to know each other. Jeffery learns that Gambo is a very wealthy woman who thinks strongly about family heritage and is very old fashioned. Jeffery leaves to go back home with the professor and constantly thinks about his mom and when he is going to go back. He writes her the entire year but she never writes back. When summer comes around, he decides to go back to his moms. There, things aren't the same as they were last time. On this visit he meets Melody's boyfriend, Max, who is rude and very aggressive towards Jeffie. When he goes to see Gambo, she isn't the same either. Sometime throughout the year she had a stroke and was always sick in bed. With his mom busy with Max and so Jeffie left. Soon he and the Professor start to bond. What we didn't know was the Professor was writing a book. He published that book, which gave him a lot of extra money. Jeffie and the Professor move and there Jeffie meets new people which was odd for him because he was never social. Jeffie's life was going good until Melody comes back. This is when the book gets emotional. I thought this book was very well written with an amazing amount of detail. If you do read this book though, you cannot just "read". You have to feel what Jeffie is feeling, think what he is thinking and put yourself in every situation he does. A Solitary Blue did live up to my expectations and defiantly meets the Newberry Honor expectations as well. If you ever read A Solitary Blue, you will not be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
bigmacOP More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was very unique but very good. The way it toke you from the beginning and brought you to the end of Jeff's encounters with his mother. The way his feelings would change when he was not with his mother then when he was how he would slowly grow away from her till her wanted no part of her. The way Jeff all way had the same amount of heart to give but how it switched from his mom to his dad and from his imagination to reality. This is why I loved this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I greatly enjoyed the book A Solitary Blue for many reasons. First off the detail of the book and the overall use of describing was there. In most books some parts of the details are unnecessary and not used in the book. In this book all the words had a purpose. There purpose was to not only continue on this wonderful story, but also connect you to it. I, in many cases, found myself second guessing some of my opinions on certain things that appeared in the book. Not only did I connect with the details but also with the characters. I really felt for Jeff's, the main character, struggle with his parents separated and living with his professor father. But, I also felt for the father or the "professor" when he was being overruled by his wife. Each character had his or her own personality, opinions, and behaviors that influenced his or her part in the story. I felt that the story was put in a great order also. Things in the past were shown that greatly influenced the book even to the end. A Solitary Blue was a wonderful book to read and experience and I recommend it to all book lovers of any genre.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago