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Touch Blue

Touch Blue

3.9 42
by Cynthia Lord

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An exquisite second novel from the Newbery Honor author of RULES! TOUCH BLUE, sure as certain, will touch your heart. The state of Maine plans to shut down her island's schoolhouse, which would force Tess's family to move to the mainland--and Tess to leave the only home she has ever known. Fortunately, the islanders have a plan too: increase the numbers of students


An exquisite second novel from the Newbery Honor author of RULES! TOUCH BLUE, sure as certain, will touch your heart. The state of Maine plans to shut down her island's schoolhouse, which would force Tess's family to move to the mainland--and Tess to leave the only home she has ever known. Fortunately, the islanders have a plan too: increase the numbers of students by having several families take in foster children. So now Tess and her family are taking a chance on Aaron, a thirteen-year-old trumpet player who has been bounced from home to home. And Tess needs a plan of her own--and all the luck she can muster. Will Tess's wish come true or will her luck run out? Newbery Honor author Cynthia Lord offers a warm-hearted, humorous, and thoughtful look at what it means to belong--and how lucky we feel when we do. Touch Blue, sure as certain, will touch your heart.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As she did in the Newbery Honor-winning Rules, Lord introduces a plucky, articulate girl from coastal Maine. When Tess's best friend's family moves away and there are no longer enough students to keep her island school open, her family is among those that offer to take in foster children to boost enrollment. Awaiting the arrival of Aaron, her teenage foster brother, Tess--an avid collector of good-luck talismans--is thrilled to find a piece of blue sea glass, since blue is especially lucky: "Touch blue and your wish will come true." Lord interlaces themes of loss, luck, superstition, family, and belonging, but at the heart of this tightly woven story is Tess's longing to help Aaron overcome his hurt and anger at having been taken from his alcoholic mother (years before) and shuffled among foster homes, and to make him feel like he's part of her close-knit family. His mother's unannounced appearance (at Tess's bold, clandestine invitation) at a talent show in which Aaron plays the trumpet adds tension and pathos to the finale of this stirring novel. Ages 9-12. (Aug.)
School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Eleven-year-old Tess is dismayed when she finds out her Bethsaida Island, Maine, school might close due to lack of students. When Reverend Beal comes up with a plan to revive the school population by having some townspeople take in foster children. Tess's family takes in Aaron, 13. The girl's steps and missteps as she tries to connect with him and make him feel welcome pull at the heartstrings. All Aaron wants is to go back to live with his alcoholic mother again. All Tess wants is for him to want to stay. Each chapter is headed with a folk saying which helps develop the story. Cynthia Lord's moving story (Scholastic, 2010) about the meaning of home is told by Erin Moon with heartwarming clarity and feeling. For fans of Megan McDonald's Sisters Club series.—Terry Ann Lawler, Phoenix Public Library, AZ

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Sold by:
Scholastic, Inc.
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File size:
752 KB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Cynthia Lord is the award-winning author of RULES, a Newbery Honor book (among its many distinctions), as well as the critically acclaimed TOUCH BLUE, released August, 2010. She made her picture book debut with HOT ROD HAMSTER. She lives in Maine with her family. Visit her at cynthialord.com.

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Touch Blue 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
The_smart_warriors_reader More than 1 year ago
I read this after Rules. I didn't think it would be great, but I couldn't find anything else at the library. It surprised me! I loved it. You can relate to the characters, and just like Rules, it isn't just a meaningless story, it talks about important topics. It might not be for everybody, but I am giving it five stars.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
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 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 of 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 her through life.
Lawral More than 1 year ago
Tess certainly has a lot of worries. Not only has her best friend leaving left her without a companion all summer (and we won't even talk about how Amy's letters to Tess have become less and less frequent), but it could cause her to lose her whole life as she knows it. And Tess cannot have that. She's happy on the island, loves being able to see the ocean all around her. She loves going lobstering with her father all summer long, and she loves going to school in a one-room schoolhouse with every other kid on the island. Losing all of that to move to a landlocked town where all the kids already know each other and don't need a lobster girl for a friend would be devastating. Tess is all for the plan to save the school and is excited to have a foster kid stay with her family. She has read plenty of books about foster kids (apparently the state cannot afford to keep a one-room schoolhouse on this island, but a well-stocked library is no problem). In her mind, Aaron is the 12 year old boy version of Anne of Green Gables and she cannot wait to have a bosom friend again to run around the island with. As Aaron spends more time on the island, Tess has to admit that he is more Gilly Hopkins than Anne. Then, finally, she realizes that he isn't a character from a book (ha), but a kid who misses the life he left behind just as much as she would miss her island if she had to leave it. Aaron and the other foster kids try to settle into life on the island, and Tess, her family, and the rest of the island start to accept the foster kids as their own. And somewhere along the way Aaron and Tess become friends. For so much of the book, Tess is grasping at straws with Aaron, afraid to offend him or trying to shield him from other people on the island, and Aaron is so stand-off-ish and hesitant to let Tess or her family in. Then they finally share a secret. He lets his guard down a little and she starts treating him like any other friend. I wanted SO BADLY for things to work out for them, even as I thought that their secret plan to make things right was a horrible idea. Lord has managed to create two compelling characters in a small amount of time, and she does it through, really, a series of tiffs and misunderstandings. The fact that these normal kids are in this bizarre situation where Tess's continued happiness requires that Aaron not attain what he dreams to be his (being reunited with his family and mainland life) makes it all the more interesting and complicated. Still, in the end Touch Blue ends up being a sweet story about two kids dealing with BIG things like adults that let you down and situations that are beyond anyone's control. But it's also about lobsters, good luck charms, and a five year old sister who always wants to play Monopoly. Book source: Advanced reader copy picked up at ALA
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its a realy good book anybody would love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book for middle school readers...touches on important topics...nice Maine setting, too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was great.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is really good and detailed i had to read for school i really like this book i really want to read rules but i haven't found the time i think any one could like this book if they really get into and take the time to read it not just rush through, if you just rush through it won't be that interesting and it will not make much sense
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
U have to read this the best ....... From the brudle begging to the heart touching end it will truly stay in ur hart .... Read... laugh....love... an cry r the emotions
mariamMA More than 1 year ago
I never read Cynthia Lord's first book, Rules, but after reading TouchBlue I will definitely now! Tess is an appealing character, she is very suspicious about about good and bad luck. She keeps all her good luck charms in her pocket and rubs different ones for luck. She had to rub for good luck alot once her new foster brother Aaron arrived on the Island to save the Island school from shutting down due to the lack of students that attend the school. Aaron just wants to belong and be in his own family, but after his mom's mishapes and grandmother's death, he is now living with his third family on an Island in Maine. The story kept me wanting to read on to see how everything works out for Tess, Aaron, and the Island. I thought it was very interesting how the chapter names were actually quotes in the chapter. Lord gave a glimpse of what was in the chapter.I enjoyed reading it and I think that a fourth or fifth grader would appreciate the story.
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Hi i love this book its really good i read it and it was really tuching and heart worming
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whoops. Dx
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a great childrens book and can touch the readers heart.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I also got her autograph on a book mark (which i cant find now) She said she has a new book comin out . It has somethin to do with a hamster.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was for little children to learn their colors so i decieded to buy it for my five year old son Beeb but insdtead of a color book i got a friggen book about a kid that is stuck on a stinken island i am not even sure the book has blue in it! So at this pont my son does not know his colors but he does know about some kid stuck on an island i just hope my son beeb learns his colors before 1 st grade from mr Yizzlend
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SabraSanjurjo More than 1 year ago
Touchblue is a very heartfelt story about a little island town off the coast of Maine. They are a one school island and ever since a family with five children moved to the mainland, there is a threat of their school having to close down. Should this happen, many other families would now have to move to the mainland as well. In order to stop this from happening, the local Reverend has come up with a solution! He asked five respectable families to foster a child each. By doing this they are helping out their community to save their school and a child in need of a good home.The story is told from the main character's, Tess, point of view. Tess is about 11 and is pretty naïve when it comes to the real world and change. As Tess's family fosters a young boy named Aaron, 13, she learns that not all of the world is as pretty and wonderful as her little island. I wish it told the story from Aaron's point of view occasionally because he is such a troubled/deep character but the author does a good job of hinting and having Aaron speak his mind that you know what's going on in his head.I have to be honest and say that although I did like the book, I did not love the book. It had a wonderful message about real life, family, and home and how they are not always what you see in a Norman Rockwell picture but I think I just wanted more. I would have loved to see Tess' character show more development throughout the book while she was trying to get Aaron to want to stay with them by showing him how wonderful their life was. It eventually happened in the end but I would have liked it gradually throughout. All in all it is a good book, a very easy read and would be great for children ages 8-12!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was really good. When i first saw it I didn't think it would be very good. I don't really like reading books like this I'm more into fantasy so it did not look interesting. Normally I wouldn't have read it, my little brother got it from his teacher and didn't even bother to see what it was about. He did not want it so I decided since I was bored I would read it. It was made for younger kids and was a pretty slim book for my standards so I figured it would last me a couple of hours, maximum. I started reading prepared to be bored to sleep by the second page. I got through the whole book and kept looking back to my favorite parts. I haven't read it in the longest time, but I still remember it and I still have it. I love Tess. They are all such great characters and I think Tess learned a good lesson. I love this book.