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?
Description taken from Goodreads.
I loved Cynthia Lord’s RULE, a story about a girl who has a brother with autism, and in TOUCH BLUE she has come with a story that is just as fun and real.
I loved the way that the world-building was especially focused on in this story and how the people who live on the island feel such a deep connection to it as their home. Through this relationship with the island and with each other, Lord was able to show just how hard a foster kid’s life can be and what they can go through. Another one of my favorite parts of the book was also to see how Aaron, Tess and Libby (Tess’s younger sister) get to grow and relate to Aaron.
There’s a lot of symbolism that unfolds over the course of the story and lessons that are learned in hard ways, but really show the reader how much themes like freedom can affect someone’s entire life.
“Stay because you want to be here. Stay because we would miss you. And stay because you can belong in more than one place, and one of your places is with us.”
The ending to this book wasn’t entirely satisfying to me. It wasn’t heartwarming and all happily ever after, but rather something that was more realistic and still left the characters feeling genuinely happy. It was a good ending, even if I wish it had ended another way. I appreciated the way Tess shows so much maturity at the end of the story and displays what she has learned during her time with Aaron.
Overall, I would recommend this for fans of Cynthia Lord’s RULES. It still has much of the same feel as RULES and the lessons, premise, plot and characters all come together very nicely over the course of the story. 3.8 stars.
pg count for the hardback: 186