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Pat Schmatz
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3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,518 Ratings  ·  388 Reviews
This GoReader comes preloaded with 1 audiobook title: Bluefish. It sucks being with Grandpa in this new town. It sucks that they left the old place without finding Rosco. Travis doesnt want to do anything, especially try to get by in his classes, which never seems possible, anyway. Hes a Bluefish stupid, angry, alone. Then, suddenly, theres a girl. Velveeta. Shes up in his ...more
Published January 1st 2012 by Scobre Press (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
Nov 07, 2015 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.
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...
Julian Martinez
May 11, 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
Jazmin Arroyo
Nov 07, 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
Alfredo Valdez
Jan 15, 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.
Yanely Martinez
Dec 03, 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
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
Dec 08, 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
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
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
Aug 11, 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
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
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
Mar 11, 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.
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 06, 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
Jan 02, 2015 Sarah 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
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
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
Dec 23, 2015 HCompleto rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book takes a completely different approach than the usual one at one's life problems. Even though it was quite simple, it made me wish for more. I couldn't believe the book got to an end so quickly! I gave it a 5/5 because this book got me inside it, making me live and think as Travis and eventually, I fell in love with this beautiful story.
Arthur Pengerbil
Feb 22, 2012 Arthur Pengerbil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 03, 2014 Lindsey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To be honest, I wasn't crazy excited about this book going into it. The title, cover, and blurb weren't anything special compared to the hundreds of other books on my To-Read list. But it was Velveeta and her colorful scarves, and Travis and his love for his missing dog that hooked me into the story soon after I started. Their interactions were great, and while some of Velveeta's dialog may drift right over the target audience's head, it sure cracked me up. I figured out Travis's grandpa and his ...more
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Battle of the Boo...: Bluefish by Pat Schmatz 1 2 Oct 25, 2014 09:25PM  
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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
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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” 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
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