By: Pat Schmatz

New school, new life, new chance to drop the bluefish name. Will Travis gain confidence in his life and learning, or will he remain the lonely, stupid, and angry bluefish. Read Bluefish to find out.

Book Cover

Travis feels he will always be a Bluefish- a stupid, angry, and alone person. The cover can be a bit difficult when you haven't read this book, but before I explain the cover, you should always remember to never judge a book by its cover. As I analyzed the cover, I realized the fish and the background. The Bluefish represents Travis, the main character of the book. The background represents how he is alone, which is one of the features of being an Bluefish. Travis and his alcoholic grandpa have recently moved to an new town where he has to start a new life all over again. He is considered a “bluefish” for his difficulties in learning, anxiety trouble, and not very many friends.

Travis earned the title “Bluefish” when he was in the 3rd grade. Him and his class were all put into separate reading groups, His was called the “Bluefish Group”. It was a group specialized for kids who had trouble reading. Everyone in the group was considered stupid, angry, and alone. Travis has never been super smart. He has struggled with a lot of anxiety and blew up when he couldn't control it, and has never been able to make “real friends”. I think the author choose this title because it shows you how the main character feels with his juggling life's difficulties.

By: Abby S


In the beginning, Travis finds himself at a new school with no friends. He has recently moved into a new house with his grandfather and had to leave his old school. On his first day, a shoe is thrown across the hall which ends up knocking into the locker next to Travis. Travis picks up the shoe and finds the boy who lost it. By the end of his first week, Travis had met a girl named Velveeta. They sat together at lunch everyday and Velveeta would often take Travis’s desert. However, when Velveeta stopped asking for his desert, Travis became nervous that he was losing her as a friend. Travis also does not know how to read. He starts taking reading lessons from his teacher, Mr. McQueen. To conclude, he starts practicing his reading skills with Velveeta and becoming closer to her as they progress in their friendship.

By: Mikayla H

About the Author

Pat Schmatz

Pat Schmatz grew up in a very small town in rural Wisconsin knowing that she wanted to be a writer when she grew up. She would consistently read, write and explore the outdoors during her free time. Pat attended Michigan State University at the age of nineteen and earned degrees in psychology and in physical education but immediately turned right back to the world of literature. She has wrote many books and has won many awards like ALA Notable Children's book or Crystal Kite award for her detailed and fascinating writing. She wrote books called, Mrs. Estronsky and the UFO , which was published in 2001, Circle of Truth, created in 2007, and probably her best book, Bluefish, which she wrote in 2011. This book was won the award of ¨The Horn book-best of 2011¨ which is a huge award for an author. In days today, Pat still lives in Wisconsin but travels quite often to neighboring states like Michigan and Minnesota. She loves to relax and adventure just like she has since she was little and enjoys learning different languages like Italian and Spanish. She sometimes teaches writing in person and online to many different middle and elementary schools. For Pat Schmatz, it is all about the story and the book.

-Kyle S.

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Book Reviews

The book BlueFish by author Pat Schmatz is a book worthy of being read. Bluefish includes your childish comedy and peaks, along with crevices. The main characters back stories come full of secrecy and all cloak and dagger to tell the little trust distributed in the beginning of the book. The characters gradually formed a trust-filled relationship. This story is the updated version of your classic dull to bright base of the slow beginning then turns to a gradual upbringing and then BOOM! Becomes smart as the average person because of passionate friends and supportive teachers to help them. I rate this novel four and a half stars for the feel the author and the life felt in the characters makes it feel like they're real, but not. Like they’re reading and telling these stories first hand.

“A lovely, understated book… unique and original, believable and poignant, this book has a power of its own.”

-The Horn Book(starred review)

“A lively, often-humorous, and ultimately hopeful page-turner.”

-School Library Journal(starred review)

-Robert S