Contributor(s): Bloor, Edward
ISBN: 0152057803 ISBN-13: 9780152057800
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: September 2006
Annotation: THE TRUTH LIES BENEATH
Paul Fisher's older brother is a high school football star, but to Paul he's no hero. Paul's own game is soccer, which he plays even though he has to wear thick glasses because of a mysterious eye injury. When the Fishers move to Tangerine, Florida, Paul tries to make sense of things. But it's not easy. In Tangerine, underground fires burn for years and lightning strikes the same practice field every day. Strange things happen here all the time -- but nothing is stranger than the secrets Paul discovers about his brother, his new group of friends, and his own dangerous past.
|Library of Congress Subjects: |
- Soccer; Fiction.
- Brothers; Fiction.
- Visually handicapped; Fiction.
|BISAC Categories: |
- Juvenile Fiction | Social Issues | Special Needs
|Lexile Measure: 680|
|Academic/Grade Level: Grade 4-6, Age 9-11|
|Book type: Juvenile Fiction|
|Physical Information: 8.00" H x 5.00" W x 0.75" (0.60 lbs) 312 pages|
|Accelerated Reader Info|
|Quiz #: 21573
Reading Level: 4.3 Interest Level: Middle Grades Point Value: 13.0
|Scholastic Reading Counts Info|
|Quiz #: Q11243
Reading Level: 5.4 Interest Level: Grades 6-8 Point Value: 20.0
|Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Though legally blind, Paul Fisher can see what others cannot. He can see that his parents' constant praise of his brother, Erik, the football star, is to cover up something that is terribly" "wrong. But no one listens to Paul--until his family moves to Tangerine. In this Florida town, weird is normal: Lightning strikes at the same time every day, a sinkhole swallows a local school, and Paul the geek finds himself adopted into the toughest group around: the soccer team at his middle school. Maybe this new start in Tangerine will help Paul finally see the truth about his past--and will give him the courage to face up to his terrifying older brother. "Includes a reader's guide and an afterword by the author.
Contributor Bio(s): IV>EDWARD BLOOR is the author of three acclaimed novels. A former high school teacher, he lives near Orlando, Florida.
Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 1997)
Legally blind, Paul Fisher has lived most of his life in the shadow of his football star brother. But things change when they move to Tangerine County, where bizarre natural disasters are everyday occurrences, and Paul wins an unlikely new crew of friends on the soccer field. In a climactic ending, Paul finally confronts his parents with the truth about the brother he fears, and readers will cheer for this bright, funny, decent kid. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews
Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 1997 #4)
Paul Fisher is legally blind and has lived most of his life in the shadow of his football star brother, Erik. But Paul can see; with his prescription goggles he is an excellent soccer player. He can also see things that his parents somehow can't, like what kind of person Erik really is. When the family moves to Tangerine County, Florida, things start to change. Paul's father is still obsessed with the Erik Fisher Football Dream, and his mother with her various committees. But behind the sterile perfection of their housing development lurks a series of bizarre disasters: an underground muck fire burns incessantly with putrid smoke; termites run rampant under the houses; and lightning strikes savagely every afternoon, once killing a boy at football practice. In this eerie atmosphere, random memories start cropping up for Paul, and he senses that knowledge of the mysterious accident that damaged his eyes at age five-an incident his family never discusses but one he knows involves Erik-is almost in his grasp. When Paul's school is sucked into a giant sinkhole during a rainstorm, he transfers to Tangerine Middle School, where the tough kids are in charge. There Paul's decency, sense of humor, and soccer skills win him an unlikely new crew of friends. The nightmarish disasters and Paul's pervasive fear of Erik are balanced in the novel by his genuine love of soccer playing and his joy in the scent and beauty of the Tangerine fields, a joy he shares with tangerine grower Luis. So much happens so quickly that you are pulled right along in the story, and the engaging sports scenes highlight the personalities of the players as well as the action on the field. Events move even faster after Paul witnesses Erik and his henchman using a blackjack in a vicious assault on Luis, who dies a week later from the blow. All truths finally come pouring out as Paul remembers Erik's horrifying assault on his eyes, and he confronts his parents with all they've been denying. Paul Fisher is an immensely likable character-a bright, funny, straight-talking, stand-up kid-and it's a real pleasure to watch him grow in Tangerine. l.a. Copyright 1999 Horn Book Magazine Reviews
Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 1997 March #4)
When he was little, Paul stared at an eclipse too long. Or so his parents tell him. Now 12, he is legally blind. When his family moves to Florida's Tangerine County, where lightning strikes every day and toxic smoke billows through the air, Paul begins to remember something else. As buried memories surface, he uncovers the ugly truth of what his football hero brother did to him years ago. The element of suburban ecological horror here is both frightening and surreal, but it gives way in the second half of the novel to an onslaught of soccer and football games. The playing fields are symbolic arenas in which Paul's anger at his brother and his tentative friendships with a group of poor minority kids get worked out. The horrific elements, however, remain largely unresolved. The zombie Paul mentions never appears. Lightning continues to strike. A swarm of mosquitoes hovers over the housing development. Problems crop up, too, in this book's pacing, but first-novelist Bloor pulls it off, wedding athletic heroics to American gothic with a fluid touch and flair for dialogue. A sports novel that breaks the mold. Ages 12-up. (Apr.) Copyright 1998 Publishers Weekly Reviews
Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 1997 April)
Paul starts seventh grade after moving from Houston to a ritzy new development in Tangerine County, FL. Legally blind following some repressed childhood incident, he nonetheless sees familial, environmental, and social anomalies of the local landscape with greater acuity than the adults around him. His intense mother quickly assumes a leadership role in the Homeowner's Association. His civil engineer father is obsessed with his older brother Erik's football career. Lurking beneath their suburban veneer are real dangers that deepen the disquieting atmosphere: smoke from an unquenchable muck fire casts a pall over the area; lightning kills a football player during practice; a sinkhole swallows the school's portable classrooms; and Paul's conflicts with Erik, a truly nasty, probably psychotic kid. Paul is determined to do whatever it takes to make it on the soccer field, in the classroom, and with his peers. The difference between local people with knowledge of the land and ignorant newcomers who are perplexed by it is powerfully portrayed. Equally clear is that class consciousness and racism have built fences through which Paul chooses to blast holes. Mix a sensitive male protagonist reminiscent of Asa in Bruce Brooks's What Hearts (HarperCollins, 1992), ratchet the soccer scenes from Joseph Cottonwood's The Adventures of Boone Barnaby (Scholastic, 1990) up several degrees of intensity, and enjoy this satisfying family/healing, coming-of-age struggle in which everyone takes some licks, but Paul keeps on kicking. Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews
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