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Beautiful Blue World

(Beautiful Blue World #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  861 ratings  ·  197 reviews
Sofarende is at war. For twelve-year-old Mathilde, it means food shortages, feuding neighbors, and bombings. Even so, as long as she and her best friend, Megs, are together, they'll be all right.

But the army is recruiting children, and paying families well for their service. If Megs takes the test, Mathilde knows she will pass. Megs hopes the army is the way to save her fa
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published September 13th 2016 by Wendy Lamb Books
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Suzanne LaFleur I think like all my books, this one has sad elements but also a lot of heart and strong relationships.
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3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  861 ratings  ·  197 reviews

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Kate Willis
2019 Re-read
I re-read this as a buddy read with Mikayla and was reminded again just how much I love this book. So many good themes. <3 It was a little emotionally hard to read since I know what the sequel holds, but it was definitely worth it. ;)

Original Review
I have been looking for this book for forever. Like seriously, I always check the teen section at my library and it is never there. Well, it’s never in the teen section, that is. I just found it in the children’s section this time and p
Libby May
What do I think of this book? Umm.. well Suzanne create Mathilde very well. She's good at that.
I couldn't quite grasp the genre. At first I thought it was like WWII era? But then it wasn't. The setting of the story being completely made up reeeeally threw me off because I didn't know if it was a different world, (which it didn't seem to be because the technology was normal (which was another confusing point. It really seemed like it was maybe history? The easy they acted and dressed...) and the
Why did I pick it up?

Something in the synopsis caught my eye, "children have the power to see what adults cannot." I had to know what it was - plus, anything with strong relationships, especially friendships, tugs at the heartstrings and I must read it.

Describe the book in 5 words

Heart Warming. Sad. Beautiful. Smart. Emotional.

Who was your favorite character, and why?

Mathilde, naturally. She is such a strong, smart and beautiful girl. Her love and dedication to her family, friends and even those
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pretty-books
Agh, so sweet!
When you talk about Juvenile Fiction, heartbreaking isn't normally the word that comes to mind, but Beautiful Blue World was just that.
It took me a few chapters to get into it, mainly because I found it hard to really think of Megs and Mathilde as friends. They rarely talked, and I didn't really see any signs of friendship up until the test.
When Mathilde started talking about feeling like the only one without a talent, I connected almost instantly. Being in a room full of smart kids who all hav
What is there to say about this book? It was breathtaking. The relationships and characterization were absolutely phenomenal, rich, deep, and full of life and animation. Mathilde was such a great character to lead this book, Megs a great companion and all the others great tag-alongs.

I once read a quote somewhere that says, "You never really read a book until you read it for the fifth time." This, I feel, was the case with Beautiful Blue World.

When I read this for the first time, I didn’t like
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The cover (too young/too Lisbeth Zwerger) really does not serve this kids' Bletchley Circle-ish story--fantasy, but very WWII feel--which is otherwise spare, taut, dark, and nicely done. 12YO Mathilde and her school friends are tested in their war-torn country for special skills that will serve the war effort. She thinks she has no special skill, that her brilliant best friend Megs is a better choice, but Mathilde takes the test and is selected instead--the only student who is. She leaves her lo ...more
Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
When younger teen readers ask for something like The Hunger Games, I think they really want a book like this one -- it's a dark and twisted story about the use of young teens in wartime. It's also a slender read. While there aren't easy answers here, I still get this brimming sense of optimism for humanity's general direction from this book.

Younger readers may have some difficulty situating this book within a fantasy genre: Sofarende, where our narrator, Mathilde, lives, is a made-up place at w
Kelly Riley
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adore this book! It is a story of the strong bond between best friends and sacrifices two families make to survive wartime. I appreciate the author’s distinct style of writing-minimal words, yet magnificent detail. I can hardly wait to read the sequel!
Malachi Cyr
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was not what I expected, and it was awesome. I know you're not supposed judge a book by it's cover, but at first glance at the cover, I first thought "Great, a little girl's book." Then I looked again and noticed the silhouette of the airplanes under the title, and my opinion of the book changed. The book itself was very well written, being simple enough for younger readers, yet bearing enough weight and food for thought to be great for older ones as well. It has the feel of a WWII era ...more
Maribel Paevere
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's good but not my favorite.
Linda Lipko
Twelve year old Mathilde loves her family. And twelve year old Mathilde loves her friend Megs. Their country is at war. Slowly the surrounding areas are confiscated. Each night the remaining people of Sofarende hide in shelters as the sound of bombs pounds their ears.

Resources are scarce, and as the enemy encroaches, food is more scarce each day. The military has a plan. They make a very complicated test that school children whose parents allow can have a chance to give their parents more food a
Shae McDaniel
This was a solid five-star in the beginning, easily. I loved Mathilde and her family and her best friend Megs. It was a little bit THE BOOK THIEF, a little bit ANNA AND THE SWALLOW MAN, with a THE BOMBS THAT BROUGHT US TOGETHER allegorical spin. I actually got choked up on the train when (view spoiler) And the gradual reveal of what the kids who pass the test do was really cool...

But it all sort of fizzled out. Maybe I've gotten ove
This was up and down for me. At first I was really intrigued--it reads like historical fiction because the time period and war feel very much like WWII, but the lands are fictional and the "testing" done on children to see if they can help with the war feels very sci-fi.

The problem is the story never really goes anywhere once Mathilde gets to the "school." Instead of a well-rounded story to introduce a series, we get a cut-off plot that never was developed. In order to encourage us to read the
Dee Price
I'm on the fence about this book. On the one hand, it was a quick-read with likable characters that gave an interesting take on how war affects everyone on both sides of the conflict. On the other hand, it was quite predictable and I kept waiting for something big to happen. The plot needed just a bit more depth.

All in all, it was an OK read and I'll read the second book to find out what happens to Mathilde.
Kristi Bell
Dec 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book reminded me of Hunger Games. The only difference is that this book has a setting reminiscent of WWII. The book never comes out and says the actual time period but it seems to be that way. I really liked it and the ending. I'm looking forward to the next book.

Language: None
Sex: None
Violence: Some war violence, not much.
Kris - My Novelesque Life
(Review Not on Blog)

This novel is a re-imagining of a war - World War II in particular. I liked the writing but did not care for the story and have decided to not continue the series.
April Rogers
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorite-100
This is a short juvenile fiction that feels like WW2 but is a war in no real land or time. The military encouraged all twelve-year-olds to take a new aptitude test and if selected they would go into service (what that service could be was anyone’s guess) and their struggling families would be well compensated. It’s less the actions of war and more the feelings and humanity. I had a hard time deciding between 4 and 5 stars and there is a sequel to look forward to.
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I haven't read a middle grades book in so long but I'm so glad I picked this one up. The writing was impeccable and the suspenseful reasoning of using children to help fight the war nearly drove me nuts. Half truths float everywhere and to make it worse, I didn't realize this was part of a series until I was about halfway through. Now I'm left with all sorts of questions. Can't wait to get a hold of the next one!
Jun 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short, middle-grade (or a bit younger) book about war which reads like a fantasy novel--complete with continental map of made-up places--that's World War historical fiction in disguise. This would be a great book to suggest to kids asking about conflicts they see in the news, assuming you want them to have empathy for people as people on multiple sides of wars.
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LaFleur has written a wonderful book that makes you want to build a world where we can all be at home. What a gift!
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Now I have to read the second book!
Heidi Burkhart
This was my second book by LaFleur. It had great reviews and since it was about children in war I was very curious about it. It just didn't draw me in.
Oct 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
I'd say this is closer to being a 3.5 stars! But yeah, this middle grade read is lovely. It tells the story of a girl named Mathilde, who lives in a country at war and how that changes the trajectory of her life forever. The only reason I couldn't rate this higher was because there was a surprising lack of depth in quite a few aspects of this story. Still, it is rather enjoyable on the whole.
May 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
In a country at war, even children are not safe. Sofarende is being bombed, including the town where 12-year-old Mathilde lives. There isn’t enough food, the sirens sound often, and then there is the destruction and people dying. Mathilde does have her best friend Megs who lives only a few doors away. Now the government has started recruiting children into service. It offers families a chance to have enough food and enough money to survive. The children have to pass a test. Mathilde knows that i ...more
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
An achingly beautiful depiction of an anonymous war. Mathilde lives in country torn apart by war. One day they are notified that children can take a test to serve as soldiers. She is one of the ones selected and has no idea why. She comes to realize that with war there are always shades of color and not everything is black/white. This book is so well written, thought proking and a great way of building empathy. I would highly recommend!!!

P. S. Reading the reviews people seem to expect a sequel.
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: great-book
'Beautiful Blue World' is a story of young Mathilde while Sofarende is at war. Her family does not have much to eat, and aerials often appear in the searchlights. An opportunity for Mathilde's safety is offered. If Mathilde passes an exam, she will be in charge of the army, who will do anything they can do to protect her. Or so they say. Her family will get lots of money, along with weekly pays, and she is a promised a university education later on. It could save her, but could kill her.
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it

Heartbreaking and Bittersweet. Just Wow.
Thought provoking also.

(I don’t want to write a full review cause I don’t know what to say.)


“Choices can have consequences we can’t even begin to understand.”

“In the schoolyard, the younger children ran around like there was no food shortage and no war and their fathers weren’t away and their houses not knocked down.”
Laura Phelps
Aug 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: possiblemsba2016
SUCH an interesting premise. Despite the lack of animal characters, this reminded me a lot of Pax and I think that readers who enjoyed that one (and weren’t bothered by the lack of specificity with the time/location of the war) will be deeply moved by this one, as I was. My only complaint is the ending which felt too abrupt to me, but it most definitely left me eager for the sequel!
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't know this was a dystopian book when I started it. If I had, I might not have picked it up. It was just so weird. It didn't even really end. Is it part of a series? Anyway, I didn't really like it. It was short, so I pushed through, but it's not one I would recommend.
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I grew up outside Boston in Newton, and later Natick, MA. During the school year I went to Catholic school, did a lot of homework, and read a couple books a week. During the summer I read a couple books a day and spent hours swimming and playing outside at our local pool or beach. I was very much a planner, dreamer, and writer, creating plays and shows for my siblings and the neighborhood kids to ...more

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