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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  2,004 ratings  ·  328 reviews
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 of passing when he’s called on to read out loud. But that’s before Travis meets Mr. McQueen, who doesn’t take "pass" for an answer—a rare teacher whose savvy per ...more
Kindle Edition, 242 pages
Published (first published September 13th 2011)
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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
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.
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...
Patricia Powell
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 (Andye)
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
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
Paige Wischmeyer
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
David Avalos
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dawn Allbee
This is an awesome book! The main characters are Travis and Velveta. They meet at school and both have had traumatic events take place in their lives at about the same time. The book follows Travis with sporatic "letters" Velveta is writing to a deceased friend. It is amazing how the story shows how each character views the same incidents differently and how they are coping with the chaotic life they are living. It deals with the fallout of having alcoholic parents/guardians and how having an ou ...more
Travis and Velveeta are both outsiders at their middle school. When they first encounter each other, each of them is privately grieving a major loss and has a secret or two to keep hidden. This short, poignant friendship story is about how these two 8th graders come to slowly trust each other, learn from each other and ultimately gain confidence in themselves. Themes include dealing with alcoholism and parental neglect, illiteracy, the healing power of books and literature, the influence of cari ...more
Arthur Pengerbil
Grades 5+

You probably learned to read in kindergarten or first grade, maybe even sooner. Maybe it's a little hard for you, maybe it got easier as you read more and more, maybe you can't stop reading.

But you did learn to read - good at it or not, loving it or not.

For Travis, that never happened. From kindergarten until seventh grade, he never let anyone see that he couldn't read - and no one knew - not even his teachers. When Travis and his grandpa move to a new town, and he begins at a new scho
Maddie Adolph
Pat Schmatz
Bluefish by Pat Schmatz is about at thirteen year old boy named Travis who has a complicated life. Travis is having a rough time in school after moving into a new town to live with his grandpa and losing his best friend and dog, Roscoe. To Travis, things seem like they are never going to get better, until he meets a unique girl named Velveeta. Velveeta and Travis are alike in many ways, but aren't sure if they can trust each other with their many secrets.

Overall, I think Blue
David Williams
*Spoiler Alert*. Have you ever met someone who made like a place you hated well travis did. The genre of this book is realistic fiction. I think this book is very well rounded its a very good book i think any one could relate to a at least one thing in this book.

This book is about a boy named travis who cant read and him and his grandpa moved from the country when his mom and dad died and his dog ran away. When travis moved to his new school he didnt really know anyone but someone noticed him an
Sandy A
The book Bluefish is about the difficult life of Travis. When Travis is forced to move an hour away from his swampy area living area with his grandpa, his life somehow gets harder then it already is. Travis's grandpa is an alcoholic which considers himself to be sober now which does not seem to last. Travis's dog, Rosco, seems to have been lost for quite awhile now which is a tragedy considering the fact that Rosco was Travis's best friend.Travis has a secret. He cannot read. When he comes to th ...more
Francisco Escamilla
Do you like books that are about a person, who has to move to a new a place and has to get used to it? If you do, then this is a book you should read. The genre in this book is realistic fiction. I think this book is one of my most favorite books that i have ever read.

The setting is mostly in school, in the present. It is important because most of the book takes place in the school where he learns different things and gets his first friend, just because he had returned a shoe to a student with
Janice Guo
Pat Shmatz

Thirteen year-old Travis is starting over; a new school, a new house, a whole new place away from everything he cared about. Here, Travis struggles with the reality of everything. He had lost his beloved dog, been sent to this new school where he had no friends, and his secret that he'd yet to divulge to anyone, even his grandfather, may be revealed. That is, until the gears in his life start turning and he meets charismatic Velveeta, someone talkative and cheerful and yet some
Pat Schmatz

Travis and Grandpa move to a new town, which is where Travis meets Velveeta. She knows that Travis has a secret, and is determined to figure out what it is. Velveeta considers that he might not know how to read based on the information in the book she is reading, and she happened to be correct. She wants to help Travis improve his reading skills, and together McQueen (the English teacher) and Velveeta help Travis succeed.

I enjoyed reading this book because it was very descript
I find myself not reading enough realistic fiction so I picked up this newer book in the library. I really enjoyed it and may or may not have cried during it. Travis is in a new town with his crusty grandpa and missing his best friend, Roscoe (his dog) who has disappeared. He starts at a new school where he feels like a bluefish (the name he was given because he was in a low reading group as a kid). He meets Velveeta, a free spirited girl who is hiding her trailer park existence at school. One o ...more
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Battle of the Boo...: Bluefish by Pat Schmatz 1 1 Oct 25, 2014 09:25PM  
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Growing up in rural Wisconsin, Pat's passions were reading, basketball, and the woods. She lived in Michigan, California, and Minnesota before landing back in central Wisconsin. She still travels whenever she can, from Japan to Rhode Island to Vancouver to New Zealand, and anyplace she can get in between.

When she's not traveling, Pat does administrative work for the Legal Aid Society of Minneapoli
More about Pat Schmatz...
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“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” 3 likes
“There’s nothing in here but empty.” 0 likes
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