Pat Schmatz is the author of three previous novels for teens. She lives in rural Wisconsin.
A lovely, understated book that celebrates the possibility of a
kind and humane friendship between an eighth-grade girl and
boy...this novel is also an ode to the significance of reading in
the lives of young people and to a teacher who knows the power
literature can wield. Unique and original, believable and poignant,
this is a book with power of its own.
--The Horn Book (starred review)
Readers seeking emotional warmth, congenial humor, and an
affirmation of forgiveness and friendship will cozy up to these
--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)
Despite the weighty problems the characters face-grief,
alcoholism, and bullying among them-Bluefish is a lively,
often-humorous, and ultimately hopeful page-turner. It has all the
hallmarks of a classic contemporary young adult issues novel. It's
packed with memorable and believable characters and powered by the
prospect of redemption and just a hint of romance.
--School Library Journal (starred review)
A young teen loner gradually learns to accept the friendship of
an outspoken girl in this problem novel filled with likable,
idiosyncratic characters.... A story rife with unusual honesty and
What makes Bluefish compelling is the unorthodox way the
characters reveal their secrets and ultimately join forces to break
hurtful social labels. Readers will identify with the middle school
setting and the well-written characters.
--Library Media Connection
The story is well written and deals realistically with issues
that plague many teens.
This inspiring novel demonstrates how two teens with survivor
instincts and a little guidance from a couple of perceptive adults
choose a different path than the one they were born into. Schmatz
keeps their situation realistic while also emphasizing the
importance of seizing opportunities when they present