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by Edward Bloor
Paul Fisher is a seventh grade soccer goalie who wears very thick glasses because, technically, he is legally blind. He really sees fairly well, though — but in a way few others see.
The book begins as Paul and his family move to Tangerine County, Florida, where his older brother Erik is about to start his senior year of high school. Everyone but Paul seems caught up in the Erik Fisher Football Dream, and no one seems to pay much attention to Pauls middle-school soccer career. Another thing no one understands is why Paul is terrified of his brother. Even Paul himself does not fully remember whyuntil, piece by piece, it comes back to him.
You could say it is a story about memory. Told in the form of a journal that Paul keeps on his computer, it explores the strange way truths unfold in the mind of a frightened, yet brave, young man. It also builds up a cloud of danger, dread, mystery, and irony. The Fisher family lives in a palatial suburban housing development that, under the surface, seethes with corruption, treachery, and decay. Meanwhile, Paul goes (by choice) to an inner-city school where fierce, competitive, even threatening people turn out to have a heart of gold.
Friendships, family ties, and even the whole basis of a community are tested. The paradise of Tangerine County is threatened by plagues of insects, fire, ice, lightning, mud, crime, and death. Atheltic triumphs, athletic disasters, a fight to save a citrus grove, and the first hints of juvenile romance combine with shattering revelations about a family, a school, and a town in this surprising, moving, and thought-provoking book.
I think you will like Paul. And I think his story will really grab you. Heres an example of the way Paul speaks…
In addition to my regular glasses, I have special goggles, prescription goggles, for playing sports. Theyre made out of some kind of astronaut plastic that could crash-land on Venus and not break. Nothing can break them. If the dinosaurs had worn these goggles, and the Earth had been bombarded by mile-wide asteroid boulders, the dinosaurs would still have died, but their goggles would be intact. Nothing can break these goggles.