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3.84  ·  Rating details ·  3,421 ratings  ·  509 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
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Lexi There is a mild amount of swearing and a few sexual refferences but it's not too overwhelming.

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Average rating 3.84  · 
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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
Jennifer Tam
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My 7th grade son was assigned this for school and we read it together and I loved it - such great characters and great messages for kids AND adults ❤️
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
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.
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
Jan 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 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.
Stephanie Fitzgerald
Aug 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Y.A. readers and teachers
What Stood Out To Me:
I really like it when a book shows what a difference a caring, dedicated teacher can make in student's lives. Mr. McQueen would have been one of my favorite teachers! The librarian was also outstanding!
Memorable Quotes:
(pg.25)-"The cover of that book was the most open space in the room. Rolling snowy fields and distant pines against a gray winter sky."
(pg. 171)-"Grief is a tough ride, but the only way through it is through it."-Connie
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 h
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 o ...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
HR Habibur Rahman
Aug 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
"𝙔𝙤𝙪 𝙠𝙣𝙤𝙬 𝙝𝙤𝙬 𝙨𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙩𝙞𝙢𝙚𝙨 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙙𝙤𝙣'𝙩 𝙠𝙣𝙤𝙬 𝙨𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙞𝙨 𝙨𝙩𝙪𝙥𝙞𝙙 𝙪𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙡 𝙞𝙩 𝙛𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙨 𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙤𝙛 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙢𝙤𝙪𝙩𝙝 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙞𝙩'𝙨 𝙩𝙤𝙤 𝙡𝙖𝙩𝙚?"

𝘋𝘪𝘥 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘢𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘭 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘣𝘦 𝘮𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯 𝘢 𝘧𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘭𝘺 𝘮𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘰n𝘦? 𝘋𝘰 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘸𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘦 𝘥i𝘢𝘳𝘺, 𝘭𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘬 𝘵𝘰 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥 𝘰𝘳 𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘯 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯 𝘪𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘥𝘦𝘢𝘥? 𝘋𝘪𝘥 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘴𝘰 𝘮𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘤𝘢𝘯'𝘵 𝘱𝘢𝘴𝘴 𝘢 𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘭𝘦 𝘥𝘢𝘺 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘭𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘩𝘪𝘮 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶'𝘷𝘦 𝘥𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘥𝘢𝘺 𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘩𝘦/𝘴𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘯'𝘵 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘢𝘯𝘺𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦? 𝘏𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘸𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦
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.
The Dusty Jacket
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish.” Might as well be, “One fish, two fish, Travis is a stupid fish.” At least that’s what they all say…well, what one person says, but he is a VERY influential person. Travis Roberts is the new kid in the eighth grade. The only thing keeping him in school was his dog, Rosco, and now that he’s gone, what’s the point? He’ll always be stupid. He’ll always be a bluefish. But then Travis meets Vida (her public calls her “Velveeta”) and Bradley Whistler (who is T ...more
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 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: trimester-1
I thought Bluefish had some great things and some not so good things in it. The book had great settings and good craft, for example, when Velveeta moves to Calvin's house the book tells how Velveeta was feeling and what the surrounds were like. The book is very realistic and gets you wondering about what's coming next. What I didn't really like about the book was that it sometimes would say something then take a while to come back to it. I recomend reading Bluefish if you would like a short, qui ...more
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: youth-ya
This is a beautiful story. It's not a happy story, but it's hopeful. It deals with death, alcoholism and bullying in a realistic way. I loved the characters. The stories they tell are heart breaking and heart warming. The thing that kept coming to mind as I read was that each character was flawed, but they were doing their best. The three teens managed to be friends because they allowed each other to be imperfect, and they recognized their need for each other. Great read.
Jan 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Hmm. I listened to the audio for this and loved that there were 2 readers however the format for presenting was terrible. The book changed POV’s yet didn’t change the presenter for the one character while in another’s POV. The voice actors did a good job, but could t cover the downright cringeyness of the dialogue. It reminded me a lot of an adult trying to remember childhood.
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.
Tonya Hardin
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the end. I wish there was more like a sequel to them as adults. I like that there was peace after a long journey.
Elizabeth (NC)
Aug 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good middle grade read. The characters have flawed families and everything doesn't turn out hunky-dory in the end, but the friendships are good.
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Spring 2019, Wild...: Rebecca White's Book Review 2 1 5 Feb 15, 2019 08:48AM  

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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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