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


3.83  ·  Rating details ·  3,074 Ratings  ·  474 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 alcoholic grandpa, a new school, and the dreaded routine of school. But that’s before Travis meets Mr. McQueen, who doesn’t take "pass" for an answer—a rare teacher whose savvy persistence has Travis slowly unlocking a book on the natu ...more
Hardcover, 226 pages
Published September 13th 2011 by Candlewick
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Bluefish, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default

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
May 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it really liked it
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 rated it really liked it
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 rated it liked it
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.
Jan 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012, young-adult
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 rated it 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 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elena Mills
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
***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 is currently reading it
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
Feb 27, 2017 rated it liked it
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 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it really liked it
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 rated it liked it
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 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, for-review, ya
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
Mar 23, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was an emotional ride but it's a very gratifying, quick read, at the same time. A story about kids dealing with the struggles of life and loss, relationships, home lives, bullies, anger, and school. The characters are much more believable than they are in many YA books. I loved the references to The Book Thief too. Also, can we just take a moment to celebrate a book written about teenagers where they don't fall into the ultimate love with one another and never look back for the rest of their ...more
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
One more reminder that kids are able to handle and HIDE more than we think. So many YA novels portray ALL adults as the cause of angst and unhappiness—so glad to see a few sensitive and insightful grown-ups in the lives of Velveeta and Travis.
Jodi Griffin
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wanted to know more of the story after the book ended..
Salim Hasanin
Sep 24, 2017 rated it liked it
It's okay, I liked Schooled by Gordan Korman better which is a similar book. I wasn't really hooked or dissapointed when i had to stop reading
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
Feb 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it really liked it
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 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book, it reminded me kind of, of the book thief when he started circling letters, and when I learned that Velveeta was reading the book thief, I laughed out loud! Overall, I really liked this book, and would recommend it.
« 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

Young Adult Deals

  • Bright Smoke, Cold Fire (Bright Smoke, Cold Fire, #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Gold-Son
    $3.99 $1.99
  • How to Say I Love You Out Loud
    $7.09 $2.99
  • The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Scat
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Chomp
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad, #1)
    $10.99 $1.99
  • I See London, I See France
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Fifth of March: A Story of the Boston Massacre (Great Episodes)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Starfish
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Olive's Ocean
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Rebel Wing (Rebel Wing #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Little Monsters
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Thickety: A Path Begins
    $6.24 $1.99
  • Lost Voices
    $5.99 $2.99
  • This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • 13 Little Blue Envelopes (Little Blue Envelope, #1)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Isle of Blood and Stone
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Loved (House of Night Other World #1)
    $11.00 $0.99
  • Train I Ride
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Haven (War of the Princes, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society
    $7.99 $2.99
  • The Immortal Circus (Cirque des Immortels, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Moving Castle, #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Greyhound
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Annie on My Mind
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Secret of the Sirens (The Companions Quartet, #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles, #2)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Now I Rise (The Conqueror's Saga #2)
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Into the Dim
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Curse (Blur Trilogy #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Fury (Blur Trilogy #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Crash (Crash, #1)
    $4.24 $1.99
  • Blur  (Blur Trilogy #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Taken (Taken, #1)
    $2.99 $0.99
  • The Fighting Ground
    $6.49 $1.99
  • Vengeance Road
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Ungifted
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Julie of the Wolves
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Storm (Elemental, #1)
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Dreamfall (Dreamfall #1)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Things We Know by Heart
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Imitation (Clone Chronicles #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Space Between Heartbeats (Betwixt #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Secret of a Heart Note
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Internet Famous
    $7.80 $2.99
  • Kissing in America
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Every Ugly Word
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Bloody Jack, #1)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Genesis
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Old Yeller
    $6.99 $1.99
  • After the Game (The Field Party, #3)
    $10.99 $1.99
  • And I Darken (The Conqueror's Saga, #1)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Ticker
    $3.99 $0.99
  • How To Keep Rolling After a Fall
    $7.09 $2.99
  • No Love Allowed
    $7.09 $2.99
  • The Concealed (Lakewood, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
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” 7 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.” 4 likes
More quotes…