Author: Virginia Hamilton
Publication: February 14, 2012 (ebook release)
Publisher: Open Road Young Readers
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Middle Grade
Audience: 9 and up
In this powerful novel researched in NYC schools, Newbery Medalist Virginia Hamilton documents the struggle young people face as they simultaneously assert their independence and yearn for guidance.
Friendship isn't always easy. Natalie is different from the other girls in Dreenie's fifth-grade class. She comes to school in a wheelchair, always wearing a knitted hat. The kids call her "Bluish" because her skin is tinted blue from chemotherapy. Dreenie is fascinated by Bluish -- and a little scared of her, too. She watches Bluish and writes her observations in her journal. Slowly, the two girls become good friends. But Dreenie still struggles with with Bluish's illness. Bluish is weak and frail, but she also wants to be independent and respected. How do you act around a girl like that?
My Thoughts: This is the story of overcoming differences and true friendship. The main character, Dreenie, is drawn to Natalie (aka. Bluish). At first it is because she gets to bring a puppy to school. Then Dreenie begins to keep a secret journal completely about her interactions with Bluish. It is heart warming to how Dreenie goes from simply being fascinated with Bluish to developing a deep friendship. Dreenie even promote change in her classmates feelings and ideas about Bluish. They all begin to see Bluish as a person and not the blue looking girl in the wheel chair. At the end Dreenie does the most selfless thing by giving Bluish her journal. I really like this book. It made me sad at times to think about a young child having to deal with leukemia while trying to have a normal life. Dreenie and Natalie are both strong girls and very much alike. It's easy for me to see how such a strong friendship developed.