How would you like to be transported to an island off the coast of Maine where fun is to be had by children in the summer, but there are also problems to be solved? Welcome to Bethsaida Island, Maine, where 11-year old Tess Brooks, who never wants to leave her beautiful island home, lives an idyllic life with her idyllic family. However, one day her world is turned upside down when she hears the bad news about her BFF and her school. The island community is struggling to keep the community school open, due to too few students. In order to address the low student population, families decide to take on foster children to boost the school population. Tess' new foster sibling is a highly talented, musically inclined moody boy named Aaron. Her hope is to create a wonderfully loving family, but Aaron still misses his biological mother and doesn't want to get attached to this new place. Aaron also has a bigger than life attitude that Tess decides to fix. However, he is accepted by many of the members on the island, but there are a few that are not at all welcoming to Aaron and his situation. Tess and Aaron's adventures around the island prove to be captivating for community members and those reading the novel.
This is a heartwarming tale of family, connectedness and community. This chapter book is highly recommendable to children 8 years of age and older. Touch Blue is brought to us by the Newberry honor author Cythnia Lord and would be a welcomed addition to a family read. As the children become friends and family members, Tess decides to do whatever it takes to help Aaron solve his problems. A great read for anytime of the the year, but definitely worth the time this summer as you are transported to a beautiful New England island all the while your heart is warmed. A great summer jumping off point...the waters of New England!