Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Bluefish” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  2,737 Ratings  ·  425 Reviews
Thirteen-year-old Travis has a secret: he can't read. But a shrewd teacher and a sassy girl are about to change everything in this witty and deeply moving novel.

Travis is missing his old home in the country, and he's missing his old hound, Rosco. Now there's just the cramped place he shares with his well-meaning but alcoholic grandpa, a new school, and the dreaded routine
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published September 13th 2011 by Candlewick on Brilliance Audio
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details

LIBRARIAN REVIEW: It's not for everyone. Adults might be bored, unless they are trying to get into the mind of a school aged kid. It's aimed at a high school or middle school audience...or at teachers. It's a feel-good novel about hard luck and hard lives in the school years, which is pretty common these days. But, this book really captures the feel of being an outsider without screaming about the main characters being outsiders.

The great thing about this book
Actual Rating: 2.75

Read this review and more on my blog

In a nutshell: Bluefish is a quick read about life, friendship and words. It was not necessarily a bad book but it's not an extraordinary one either.

I was drawn to Bluefish when I found out that it features my all-time favourite book, The Book Thief. Mentions to books I love within other books is one of the small things that makes me happy. Other reviews led me to believe that The Book Thief played a larger role than it actually did, though
Steven R. McEvoy
Few books have as immediate an impact on me as this book. As someone who grew up with a learning disability, a dual form of dyslexia, reading this book was much like reliving some of my own childhood. Schmatz does an amazing job of capturing the feelings, emotions and immense frustration of having a learning disability and being different from other people. She captures the sense of being an outsider at school and the embarrassment of going out to special education classes. She also captures how ...more
An outstanding story about working through grief and supporting one another.

Travis and Velveeta are memorable characters-- the kind of kids you fall in love with and root for...
Jazmin Arroyo
Sep 12, 2015 Jazmin Arroyo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Iamgine how it would feel not to be able to read at your days of adolecensece. I am going to tell you all about the book Bluefish as you can see. The genre of the book bluefish is realistic fiction. What I really thought about this book was that it had alot of emotion and was a roller coaster of events because at times the characters had sorrowness in their life.

A teens life is not going well while living whith his grandpa in a little town in Wisconsin IL. The setting affects the story by Tra
Julian Martinez
Feb 28, 2016 Julian Martinez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine you live a life where both your parents died and your dog too, now you live with your grandpa and your starting a new life would you want to live that life. Well I definitely wouldn't because my life is already good as it is so that's why I wouldn't. The genre of this book is realistic fiction I known this because the things and the situations that happen in the book sounded like events that would occur in a actual persons life.***WARNING the following book review may contain spoilers y ...more
Oct 19, 2012 Gina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rereads
This was actually a very good book, nice and enjoyable, a light read. Although it deals with some heavy issues, it doesn't do so in a way that choked me up in the way that other books have - which is not always a bad thing. The characters were likable, and even if Velveeta was a little extra quirky, I've known people like her and it only endeared her more to me. Overall, I liked it.
Blue fish

Blue fish, a book written by Pat Schmatz is about a kid called Travis that lives with his grandpa that moves from his home without his dog Roscoe. Travis never learned how to read and he is currently now in 8th grade, he moved to an unknown place where he met Velveeta. A young girl that is full of secrets that's determined to find out with a teacher named Mr McQueen what Travis is hiding from everybody else. Overall the book is mediocre in my opinion it's very boring and honestly it's
Alfredo Valdez
Jan 14, 2016 Alfredo Valdez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elena Mills
Apr 13, 2017 Elena Mills rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a curious book. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't very exciting. It was a pretty good story line, but there wasn't really a theme, or a moral or anything. It was still good though.
Brandon Santiago
***Spoiler Alert*** Imagine if you had to be transferred to a new school with new people and new teachers and also living in a new town. Well the Genre of this book is realistic fiction . the book overall is really great because you get to see how a boy is dealing with being at a new school .

There was a boy who was named Travis and he had to move in with his Grandpa in a new town .Travis hated the idea because when they left he didn't want to do anything with school and how he had to try to get
Yanely Martinez
Dec 01, 2015 Yanely Martinez is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine moving somewhere far away from home and you could never go back, starting at a new school, a new life, and there was no way out. I'm going to be telling you about this book called Bluefish. The genre of this book is realistic fiction. This book was upsetting bet yet so fascinating. This boy did not really have the best life he could have had better. You will see how his friends try helping him out.

The setting of the book took place in Wisconsin IL. Travis wanted so bad to move back to hi
Shayne Bauer
Maybe a 3.5. This one is cute, and it gives a nice glimpse into the lives of several youngsters who are harboring very different secrets. Their lives merge into a unique friendship which emphasizes the importance of acceptance. There is one (literal) jaw-dropping, OMG moment--and I thoroughly enjoyed it because I did not see it coming. I will recommend this book to both male and female students, as I can see them enjoying it even more than I did.
Patricia Powell
Dec 05, 2012 Patricia Powell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
In Pat Schmatz’s “Bluefish” (Candlewick 2011), Travis, 13, has to move into town and live with Grandpa. Travis’ heart is broken over his lost hound, Roscoe. And school is painful.
Grandpa has stopped drinking, but Travis knows it won’t last.
The only bright spark in his life is classmate, Velveeta, who is the liveliest, flirtiest girl, who wears old lady scarves—different colors every day—with her hoody.
Velveeta inherited the scarves from Calvin, the old man who lived in the next trailer, the o
Reading Teen
Sep 28, 2011 Reading Teen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Out of the dozens of un-read ARC books on my bookshelf, for some reason, Bluefish was the book that stuck out to me a few days ago. I picked it up one night before going to bed… And had finished it by breakfast the next morning. I got very little sleep that night. This book was just so great. It literally left me speechless.

I will admit that Bluefish was one of the extremely rare books that made me cry. In fact, it was the second. The first was Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. But, that’s
Loved this. Reminded me a little of Okay For Now by Gary Schmidt, since Travis is a kid who could choose to get into trouble but is really trying not to. Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt He lives with his newly-recovering alcoholic grandfather, and they've just moved out of their home in the country, losing track of their beloved hound dog, Rosco, in the process. In his new school, he meets the irrepressible Vida, aka "Velveeta", who basically forces him to be her friend. And then his English teacher, Mr. McQueen, figures out ...more
Dec 05, 2011 Ellie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, death
2. References to a book (The Book Thief) that you have to have read to get what's going on.
4. Didn't love the way the story was told switching between third and first person in a weird, weird way.
5. I don't want anyone to take this the wrong way because I love library representations in kids books. However, I feel as if sometimes in books, kids find the library and then find themselves/change their life there WAY more o
Aug 09, 2011 April rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, for-review, netgalley
Bluefish by Pat Schmatz is an understated contemporary novel. I haven’t actually seen any reviews for it so far, so it seems very under the radar, or at least it did until I checked goodreads and realized it doesn’t come out until September 13. However, we still see advance reviews for most books, and I really do think Bluefish is going to be one of those that will be under the radar.

Read the rest of my review here
Jan 15, 2012 Erin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, 2012
I actually groaned when I turned a page near the end of the book and discovered it was the last page of the story. I fell in love with Travis, Velveeta and Bradley, loved all of the references to other books, and actually thought many of the loose ends added to the realness of the lives of the characters.
Mar 23, 2017 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 22, 2017 Emiliano rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Monica Edinger
I agree with those who are calling this a "quiet" book. Because I can't figure out how, I'm not able to rate it and I'm not going to do plot here (you can find that in other reviews here, I'm sure). What I will do is mull a bit about it.

First of all one aspect of the book's quiet is due to the main character Travis who is incredibly silent on the surface though steaming underneath for many good reasons we learn as the book goes on. There are some lovely scenes through which we get to know Travis
Maggie Desmond-O'Brien
Good YA is the balance between the artsy and the readable. Good YA is also the balance between the story teens need to hear, and the one they want to hear. Good YA requires a connection between author and reader perhaps more than in any other genre; a sort of telepathy, and loyalty. Bluefish is perhaps one of the most crystallized examples of good YA I have ever read, bringing to mind the classics by Judy Blume and Louis Sachar, the ones I read before I even knew what YA was.

We have a rural sett
Sep 02, 2011 Brenna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Thank you to Candlewick Press and the Goodreads first reads giveaway for my copy of this book!

Travis seems to think he is a Seussian "bluefish" in more ways than he can shake a stick at. He's the new kid in town. He has a grandpa to raise him instead of two parents. His dog Roscoe has disappeared. Despite all of these facets of his life, when he enrolls in a new school, he meets a girl named Velveeta, or rather, Velveeta meets him. And thus begins a story of middle school friendship that's so mu
Sarah McLaughlin
Sep 20, 2013 Sarah McLaughlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-for-school
I read this book for a middle school-level Literary Devices class. I thought it was great at the beginning—we were only allowed to read 6 chapters a week to be able to discuss it, and a lot of my classmates finished it before they were supposed to. They just couldn't help it. It is a really addicting book. However, towards the end, I became a bit disappointed, which is the reason I give it four stars instead of five. The main contributor to my disappointment is the fact that the book really does ...more
David Avalos
Dec 04, 2014 David Avalos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have you ever felt like everything was not going your way? Well if you have this book is for you. Bluefish is a fiction novel. I thought this was an excellent book. *Spoiler Alert* Travis is a kid who isn't smart and doesn't know how to read.

Bluefish is about a 13 year old boy named Travis who's life isn't going so great. He hates living with his Grandpa, he hates his new town he just moved into, and he lost his dog in his old house. Travis considers dropping out of his new school, as he is no g
In many respects, this book is a tribute to teachers who refuse to give up on the kids who pass through their classrooms, no matter how difficult the challenges. McQueen is the caring teacher who realizes that thirteen-year-old Travis has a secret--he is able to read only the simplest words--and creates a tutorial program that helps him gain confidence and improve his reading skills. While McQueen is not the main character in the book, he is an important one, of course, and those teachers among ...more
Sharon Medina
Sep 24, 2013 Sharon Medina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story about a young boy in 8th grade name Travis has to overcome several negative events within his life. He not only loses his mother at a young age but also his dad. He then has to live with his dad's father who is an alcoholic and doesn't seem to know how to be a father figure to Travis.
In the begining of the story Travis and his grandfather has to move to a different house in another town. Before the move his dog Rosco goes missing and then end up leaving without him. This makes Travis v
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paige Wischmeyer
Nov 16, 2014 Paige Wischmeyer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book Bluefish is a cute, heartwarming, and surprisingly realistic story about two friends. The book shows the real way people act, behave,and think, it shows that nobody is perfect, and some people are farther from being perfect than others.This book highlights the fact that some peoples lives and families are very different from the ones we take for granite, which is what I really like about the book. This book is well written, and the author really understands the characters he created and ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Battle of the Boo...: Bluefish by Pat Schmatz 1 4 Oct 25, 2014 09:25PM  
  • Warp Speed
  • The Great Wall of Lucy Wu
  • Planet Middle School
  • The Unforgotten Coat
  • Hidden
  • Ghetto Cowboy
  • The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman
  • Same Sun Here
  • Take Me to the River
  • Jefferson's Sons
  • Fourmile
  • Small as an Elephant
  • The Trouble with May Amelia (May Amelia, #2)
  • The Fairy Ring
  • Pinned
  • No Ordinary Day
  • Paintings from the Cave: Three Novellas
  • Hugging the Rock
Pat grew up in rural Wisconsin and has lived in Michigan, California, and Minnesota. In addition to writing, she’s interested in language study (ASL, Italian, Japanese and Spanish), drawing/cartooning, travel and anything outdoors. She occasionally teaches writing on-line and in person, and is always happy for a chance to visit a middle school or high school classroom. Her #1 favorite hobby, relax ...more
More about Pat Schmatz...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“I couldn't eat because that book made me cry so hard, I couldn't even breathe. Connie said to keep reading and keep breathing, like that was easy. Tears and snot just about came out my butt, I cried so hard” 6 likes
“Read them out loud, and take it slow. When you hit a comma, stop and chew. When you hit a period, swallow. Don't try to eat any circled words.” 3 likes
More quotes…