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California Blue

3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  271 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Teenager John Rodgers and his dying father find themselves on opposite sides of an environmental battlefield. At issue is a new species of blue butterflies that John discovers on a jog through land owned by the lumber mill that employs his father and most of his town. An ALA Recommended Book for Reluctant Readers and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published April 1st 1996 by Scholastic Paperbacks (first published 1994)
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This is a very special little book.It is apparently out of print and has been suggested for young adult audiences. I think the only reason for that limitation is that it is about a young adult. I found this book in our public library's book shop and in reading the summary found that it was about a high school junior that was a good distance runner, had a compulsion for nature and natural things and had a hard demanding father. Since all of those issues were part of my childhood, I couldn't help ...more
Emily Thomas

John Rodgers is just trying to fit in. A typical seventeen year old, John has enough on his plate balancing school, track, a tense relationship with his dad, and navigating the ever-confusing world of girls. In a town where logging is the center of life, John doesn’t see the local forest quite like anyone else. His love of science and nature, not understood by his father, has him see beauty and diversity where other people see only dollar signs. When the shocking news of his dad’s cancer comes t

California Blue is intended for a young-adult audience. This was evidenced by the fact that a 17-year-old student is in love with his 23-year-old science teacher. The main character is involved in underaged drinking with friends and is offered a Coke and rum by his teacher. He also spends some time with a group smoking pot. Cursing is common throughout the book and problems are often settled with fists. The main character solves one issue by running away from home.

The crux of the story is that R
As this is one of my all-time favorite books, I am saddened to see it’s no longer in print. I first read it back in high school and have re-read it countless times since. It’s the story of a science-minded teenage boy who discovers a previously unknown species of butterfly in a section of the forest slated for destruction. If he reports his findings, the butterfly and its habitat can be saved. Trouble is, he lives in a logging town—and his father is a logger.

California Blue is a perfect example
I gave this 2 stars because the premise, when you could find it through all the other extraneous plot junk, was interesting. I wish this could have been a book more about the conflict of finding a new species of butterfly in a logging town and less about everything else the author thought necessary to throw in (i.e. lengthy explanations of main character as outcast in his family, subtleties of running track, attempted romantic involvement with biology teacher, said biology teacher blithely offer ...more
This was read to my class in grade school. By the best teacher ever. Mostly because she was always ranting and raving about how we should all be vegetarian gay rights activist tree huggers. I've read it a few times since - a 17 year old finds an endangered species of butterfly in the woods owned by the mill that employs everyone in the town, including his father. It's probably in the young adult category, but it's not dumbed down, just a very fast read. I cared more about a couple of the charact ...more
Aoife Ersoz
"California Blue" by David Klass is about a seventeen year old boy,John Rodgers, who lives in Kiowa, California. He's the black sheep of the family, just an average boy in a house full of athletes & successful people. He's tall & awkward & doesn't have much interest in sports other than track & field. His biggest interest is in insects, more specifically, butterflies & moths. His life is turned upside down when he finds a peculiar butterfly that he can't classify. I liked thi ...more
Scott Williams
This book is really cool so far. It seems like a book Ms. Rhone would love. This dude, John has two older sisters where high school cheerleaders. His two older brothers were football champs. He runs track. He's pretty sure he was an accidental kid. He soon discovers that his dad that holds his HS record for most yards ran in football has been diagnosed with cancer. John runs through these really cool redwood forests to get away from it all. I love this book so far, its actually super cool.
I read a book called California Blue. The main character lives in a small town which relies on logging. Everyone is mad when the logging stops and theathens to beat him up. It was about a kid who likes nature and he finds out his dad has leukemia. He also dicovers a new species of butterflys. I didn’t like the book because it was boring. It didnt have a lot of action. This book was a waste of my time. The plot was boing. I hated the book.
James Worlobah
Do you appreciate surprises and new discoveries in a novel? Are you also attracted to the culture and memories of the 1990's? If you do, the California Blue might have a story for you. The novel I'm currently reading is named California Blue. This novel is primarily a mystery by reason of an unknown background and motive of a character. The author of this novel is David Klass.

This story takes place in California of the 1990's.
I'd say this was on the lower end of a 3 star rating. It wasn't terrible to me, but there were some issues I had with the story, things other readers have already commented on (underaged drinking with a 23 year old, solving issues with irresponsibility, you get it). Good if you're focusing on the blue butterflies, not so great if you're looking for an insight into the trials and tribulations of a young eco-activist.
This was a really good read! Wished it wasn't so short! I loved John's struggle as he chose between his town or a rare butterfly.

The writing style changed a little whenever John was more active in the scene. Hard to explain, but it seemed more like it was written by John, those parts. I preferred when we got to observe what he was seeing. The scene at the town hall meeting was one of my favs.
Brent McCulley
Looking back, it's pretty remarkable that we were required to read this book in 8th grade, when certain aspects are questionable for a high-school audience. Even still, I remember thoroughly enjoying California Blue if for nothing else I identified with the rebellious teenage spirit that was being presented throughout the novel. Would love to pick this book up again soon.

Brent McCulley
Pretty good book =). It's realistic, shows very human characteristics, and doesn't have the classical "happily ever after" outcome. In the end, the main character's father still might die, the main character still doesn't win first place in a race, and the main character and his father still don't have too great of a relationship.
This book is an environmental book about a rare California butterfly and a teen's journey to save it against his family and the community he was brought up in. It was a good book except it was creepy when the teen and his teacher kiss.
I had to read this in my language arts class and it actually wasn't that bad. I really liked how it had some action in it and it also had some inspirational things in it when his father gets ill.
this book has to dill with a boy who likes a teacher and a father who dislikes him but then he finds something that no one ever saw before and named it California blue this book touched my heart
Brett Scuiletti
This novel spoke to me personally in a number of ways, and I've kept a soft spot for the book for years. I even read it twice back in the day, despite it being an assigned book for school!
Jennifer Wyld
I use this with my middle schoolers. Especially as we live in the northwest- this is a great look at both sides of the logging issue...
Taylar T
this was a good book, it had alot of things happening to the character. it was okay, but i liked how the character had lots of problems.
This book stank...what was the point of reading it. It had nothing to do with what we are doing in English this year.
Mar 14, 2010 Sydney added it
It a really good book, I think the theme was, one person (or butterfly)can make a big difference.
ConwayCountyLibrary .org
(youth review)This book was sad but I learned a lot and really liked it. ~Tally, 3rd grade, MIS
It was okay. I read it last year. I don't like it to much but the ending is sort of good.
Nov 08, 2012 Jessie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: usa
This one surprised me. I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did.
Really great underrated book read it in a couple hours!
new discovered butterfly kid gets it named after him
Great book for teens,quick read.
Good science connections.
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David Klass is the author of many young adult novels, including You Don’t Know Me, Dark Angel, and Firestorm (The Caretaker Trilogy). He is also a Hollywood screenwriter, having written more than twenty-five action screenplays, including Kiss the Girls, starring Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd, Walking Tall, starring The Rock, and Desperate Measures, starring Michael Keaton and Andy Garcia. Klass g ...more
More about David Klass...
You Don't Know Me Firestorm (Caretaker, #1) Stuck on Earth Dark Angel Whirlwind (Caretaker, #2)

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