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Touch Blue

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  6,877 Ratings  ·  557 Reviews
An exquisite second novel from the Newbery Honor author of RULES! TOUCH BLUE, sure as certain, will touch your heart.

The state of Maine plans to shut down her island's schoolhouse, which would force Tess's family to move to the mainland--and Tess to leave the only home she has ever known. Fortunately, the islanders have a plan too: increase the numbers of students by havin
Hardcover, 186 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Scholastic Press
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Jan 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
Tess's island town takes in foster children in order to keep their local school open. I didn't like this book. Her first book, Rules, worked because it had a foundation of authenticity to it that was totally lacking in this one, except for maybe three pages near the end. There are wonderful stories to be written about children in foster care, but they're grittier than this one, and more complicated. Not necessarily sadder, but harder. The present tense seemed forced and the luck theme seemed gim ...more
Barb Middleton
Feb 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: realistic
“Touch blue and your wish will come true.”

Tess Brooks believes in luck. She stands on the pier waiting for her new foster brother, Aaron, to step off the ferry at Bethsaida island thinking about luck. Luck that Aaron will like her family. Luck that school won’t be closed. But then she spots Aaron and his red hair that shines out of the crowd like a beacon. Her heart sags; everyone knows it’s unlucky to ride a boat with a red-head.

This is the setup for the story where Aaron has to learn to live w
A very sweet, touching story. It's age-appropriate (9 to 12, I should think), but it truly shows the anguish and loss foster children go through as a regular part of their lives. Tess sounds like a very recognizable, real eleven-year-old girl, and the author integrated the rural island setting very well into the story. The ending was great, too -- it was conclusive and hopeful, not all neatly-wrapped-up-live-happily-ever-after, but more like how real life would be. I think 9-to-12s, particularly ...more
郭茗茗(Sarah Guo)
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
A wonderful book
Sep 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
TOUCH BLUE was one of those books that I read quickly because I loved it so much...and then slowly toward the end, because even though I was desperate to find out how these characters' stories played out, I was so, so sad to leave them behind on the last page. I shouldn't have worried, though - the characters in TOUCH BLUE are the kind that stay with you long after you finish reading.

There's hopeful Tess, who waits on the shore for the ferry boat bringing her father with the new foster kid who's
Rebecca McNutt
May 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Original, creative and eye-opening, Touch Blue shows readers how small towns are gradually falling victim to the 21st century (here in Canada it's Newfoundland and Nova Scotia that are being most affected), but this book has a lot more to offer than that - it's a story of acceptance, of children from broken families and of a brighter future. Vibrantly-written and filled with unforgettable characters, this was an amazing book.
Oct 07, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: problem-novels
cute...but better (and funnier) when I read it the first time, when it was called surviving the applewhites ;)
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
The four stars is my 10yo's rating. I bought for him because he was foster adopt--although he came to us at 11months old and we were his only placement--so a very different foster story. He liked the lobstering and seeing Aaron deal with his feelings about his mom.

For me it was more of a 3 star, maybe two at the start (couldn't get into it) but I loved things toward the end--particularly when Tess realizes her happiness can't be wrapped up in one thing and it's not her job to control everything.
Nancy Scheel
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great companion book for "One for the Murphy's." I really enjoyed this book especially the analogy between Aaron (the orphan) and the blue lobster. Aaron is worried if the blue lobster will be okay since it wasn't released where it "belongs" and Tess says, "Well, he's blue! That's gonna stick out no matter what...and lobsters are like people: Some take to strangers okay, and others come at each other with their claws wide open. But he's in a good place, and it can be a home for him, if he'll let ...more
May 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
Tess firmly believes in luck and does all sorts of things to try and capture some of it. But wishes and luck are difficult things to grab ahold of as Tess quickly discovers. On her island home, the number of children have fallen below the threshold to have a school. If nothing is done, Tess and her family will have to leave the island and Tess will be unable to become a fisherman the way she wants to. So the islanders decide to take in foster children to both increase the number of children on t ...more
Aaron Twardzik
Mar 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The main characters in touch blue are Tess, Libby, and Aaron. Aaron is the foster child that Libby and Tess' family adopted. His mom was told she could not raise him and his grandmother started to take care of him, unfortunately she died a few years after she took him in. So he went to a foster home and lived there until he was 13. The reason he was adopted along with a lot of other foster children was because the mayor of Maine threatened to shut down the island school because there were not en ...more
Ali Burns
Jun 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I am currently reading the book Touch Blue, and all i can say is WOW! It is a really touching book about a foster child that a girl and her family take in. You can really see the struggles of someone who is a little "different" because his parents couldn't help support him so they thought that he would have a better life as a foster child, which is better than living with a drug addict mom and a drunken dad. Nobody really ever realizes how hard it can be if your not "normal", but what is normal? ...more
Abby Johnson
Jun 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: blogged
Eleven-year-old Tess knows what she wants. She wants to stay on her tiny island home forever and she wants to be a fisherman when she grows up. She wants this plan to work because she can't even think about moving to the mainland and starting all over. The plan? To save their tiny island school from being shut down, island families have agreed to take in foster children. Which is how Aaron comes to live with them. Tess is hoping that Aaron will be like Anne from Anne of Green Gables - a feisty f ...more
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Touch Blue and your wish will come true. This is the story of a girl from a small island in Maine. Small enough that the state is planning on shutting down the island's school. So the families on the island get together and make a plan to foster children in order to get the school's numbers up.

Tess (11) and her family foster a 13-year-old boy named Aaron. Aaron has a hard time with island life, and Tess keeps wishing on her lucky objects hoping things will change. When Tess learns she has to mak
Ellen Brandt
Jun 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
11 year old Tess loves living on a small island in Maine with her fisherman father, school teacher mother and little sister - but the state is threatening to close the island's school house due to declining enrollment. Tess' family may have to make some very hard choices soon.
The islanders come up with a plan to increase enrollment by taking in foster children. This too requires some hard choices.
The story really resonated with me; partly because I read it while in Maine, and partly because one
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
A Quickie Review

When a Maine island's school is threatened to be shut down by the state's government, the residents of the isle adopt kids in an attempt to save their schoolhouse.  Narrated by 11-year-old Tess, the story is as innocent as a Disney Channel Original Movie, and even portrays hymns, a preacher, and Christian faith in a positive light.  However, some discussion of "wishing" superstition is odd, given the rest of the book.  It's nothing special, but Touch Blue was a mildly enjoyable r
Andree Sanborn
Apr 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: april, 2011, dcf, dcf-2011-2012
Touch Blue

I hope this becomes a popular book. I loved it. The sentiments expressed by the narrator, 11 year old Tess Brooks, are important and are expressed well. She wants Aaron, her foster brother, to feel at home with her family in Maine. Tess devises an unusual method of helping Aaron overcome anger and grief. But Tess also grows and learns that there are worse things to lose than your school and home. This is a Vermont DCF Book Award nominee for 2011-2012.
Colby Sharp
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
When I think of a book that involves a foster family I think Bud, Not Buddy. What I loved about Touch Blue was that it was told not from the point of view of the orphan, but the point of view of a young girl whose family is taking in a foster child. Reading a story from that angle felt fresh and extremely engaging. Throw in a small island town taking in foster children to keep their one-room schoolhouse open and you got yourself an excellent middle grade novel.
Alyssa F
Apr 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book has 186 pages. I think the main character Tess is like me because she also has a little sister who sometimes annoys her but still loves her. This book reminds me of another book I read that takes on a foster child and the foster child does not like it there in the start but ends up liking them in the end. I gave this book five stars because its one of the best books i ever read. I think the ending of this book is the best part.
Heartwarming, sweet, and evocative, TOUCH BLUE is the story of Tess and her family, who live on an island off the coast of Maine and become one of five families to take in a foster child in hopes of keeping their island schoolhouse open. Complex emotions, authentic voice, and characters that leap off the page.
Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
I never really fell in love with any of the characters in this book. Aaron didn't seem all that believable to me as a 13 year old boy. Tess's family is great, but maybe just a bit too great.

It was an interesting premise, but it didn't pull me around emotionally like I expected after reading the jacket flap...
Josh Newhouse
Aug 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hot-reads-11-12
After rules caught me by surprise, i should have known that just because a cynthia lord book's subject matter wasn't my usual i was going to enjoy it... And its another homerun, with strong characters and a warm soul!
Sep 29, 2016 rated it did not like it
Touch Blue was a reread for me and I did not like it the second time around. I read it in 6th or 7th grade and loved it, but this year it was one of my least favorite books. It is a good book, like I said I liked it in 6th or 7th grade, but it's not for me anymore.
Jan 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Marcia by: Heather
Shelves: grades-4-6
I enjoyed this new addition to the foster child genre. A beautiful Maine Island setting, folks intent on saving their school, and a strong family willing to open their home to another child make this a wonderful book.
Bre Severance
Oct 22, 2013 rated it liked it
It was a good book. but its not the best. it was cool tho!!
Aug 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, beautiful story.
Aug 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Very sweet and enjoyable. I would definitely recommend this.
Mallory Lyon
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a short but powerful book. I highly suggest you read this no matter if you are a girl or a boy.
Apr 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middlegrade, audio
A sweet story that I enjoyed thoroughly, even with a fairly predictable/pat ending. The narration on the audiobook was excellent. Solid middle grade read.
Jun 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-books
Great, quiet story. Would be a good summer read.
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I'm the author of the children's book, RULES."
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“Stay because you want to be here. Stay because we would miss you. And stay because you can belong in more than one place, and one of your places is with us.” 20 likes
“People say it's better to know the truth, but what if the ending's a bad one? Is it still better to know? Or is it kinder to keep that string of hope dangling? To believe that maybe if you just wait long enough, everything could still end the way you want.” 12 likes
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