A Thousand Shades of Blue

  • Pages:240
  • Publisher:Orca Book Publishers
  • Themes:sailing, brain damage, rebellion, Caribbean, family issues
  • Available:10/01/2008
  • Age Groups:Fiction Ages 12+
  • Lexile:NC600L
  • ATOS:3.8
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A sailing trip to the Caribbean might sound great, but sixteen-year-old Rachel can't stand being trapped on a small boat with her family. She misses her best friend and feels guilty about leaving her older sister Emma, who lives in a group home. Her father is driving her crazy with his schedules and rules, her brother is miserable, and there is never anyone her own age around. Worst of all, there is nowhere to go when her parents fight. While their boat is being repaired, the family spends a few weeks in a small Bahamian community, where Rachel and Tim discover a secret which turns their world upside down and threatens to destroy the fragile ties that hold their family together.
"Rachel comes across as a real teen with whom readers will identify. Using the small boat as a setting highlights the cramped, suffocating feeling many young people have when spending a lot of time with parents and siblings. The book has no easy answers...giving the novel a refreshing realism."
– School Library Journal
"Stevenson treats the family dynamic deftly and contextualizes it with her evocative representation of sailing. In her hands, the acts of learning to sail and learning to understand become graceful illuminations of the other."
– Canadian Literature
"It is well-written, well-paced, easy to read and conveys the message that there is no such thing as a perfect parent... Stevenson's conversational style is a great hook and her mastery of teen dialogue and teen angst is engaging. Highly recommended."
– CM Magazine
"The author does a fantastic job of making each character relatable to teens...The book flows very smoothly, making it an easy read for teens."
"The feelings of the teenagers are conveyed with understanding and skill by Stevenson."
"Robin Stevenson writes engagingly for teens...and explores deep issues."
– The Financial Post
"[Stevenson] eschews cliche in her keen and credible exploration of family dynamics... Readers looking for a family drama with adroit characterization, serious issues, and a little risky romance on the side should sign up for this voyage."
– The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"The characters are well drawn, the ending is realistic and believable, and the plot is reasonably paced. This is a readable, interesting book that would appeal to a teen reader."
– Resource Links
"The writing's emotional honesty and realistic dialogue will appeal to many teens."
– Booklist
"Highly recommended."
– Tucson Unified School District
"A nice family to read about—complex without stereotypes, a family you are pulling for...The storyline develops the topics of autonomy, responsibility, sexual mores, and basic angst. It's well-done and brings up the idea of tolerance of shades of grey in life."
– The Indextrious Reader blog
"A page-turning plot...Interesting characters and a creative setting."
– TeensReadToo.com
"This realistically gritty story is full of raw emotion...Teenage girls...will enjoy this first-person coming -of-age story."
– Tri State Young Adult Book Review Committee
Resource Links, The Year's Best Books   | 2008  |  Commended
BC and Yukon Book Prizes - Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize   | 2009  |  Short-listed
The Governor General’s Literary Awards (GGBooks) - Young People’s Literature Text   | 2009  |  Nominated
CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens   | 2010  |  Commended