Bluefish by Pat Schmatz was quite the treat. Travis and his grandfather moved rather suddenly from their house into a much smaller one many miles away. He’s starting in a new school. On the first day, he’s standing by his locker when a brand new sneaker lands by his feet. Soon after he hears the uncoordinated thump of a one-shoed person coming down the hall, in the form of Bradley Whistler. He non-chalantly hands Bradley his shoe, trying not to make a scene. This whole incident was observed by Vida “Velveeta” Wojciehowski. Thus, the friendships are fromed.
Each teen is coping with his/her world as best they can. But each teen has a secret that they dare not share with anyone, even with each other.
In chapters alternating between third person Travis and first person Velveeta, Schmatz fleshes out the story of each one and how they help each other through their individual turmoil. Bluefish runs like a placid stream, ambling along to get to the point, but like lazing on a stream on a nice summer day, it’s a wonderful way to spend the day. Bradley, Travis and Velveeta are unique characters. Schmatz brings in a few ancillary characters that round out the story, provide the backdrop for the main story. They are essential for the plot.
Bluefish is a rewarding and fun read for teens and adults alike. This is one book that parents and kids can read together and discuss and enjoy.