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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
“When you take pictures, sometimes you focus hard on one thing and you don’t see what’s right in front of you.” The same sentiments can explain so much about life. In Tory Christie’s A Touch of Blue, Cecilia is learning what it means to grow up, to face the world where sad things happen. At ten, going on eleven years old, Cecilia, or Celie as everyone calls her, has a new friend next door named Honey. She’s tired of being the only girl in her family of brothers and the only girl in her class. Now she has a friend who is a girl, it’s summer, and there’s a rare blue lynx in the woods. Armed with a camera and a dare, and a desire for adventure with lots of color, Celie and Honey set out to prove this rare lynx exists. In the process, they forge a friendship, share secrets, and learn how to deal with grief.
Tory Christie’s middle-grade novel A Touch of Blue is a gentle story set in the 1970s about coming of age and friendship. Like Gene Stratton-Porter’s Girl of the Limberlost, this story resonates with pure vitality, the wonder of the natural world, and the mixed passions of two girls growing up together. The language is simple to help early readers and the plot follows two girls as they forge a friendship while trying to find a rare blue lynx in the woods. While Celie loves adventure, Honey loves colors, but the two blend well together as Celie explores a new passion for photography. She’s determined to capture the rare lynx on film, like her special Aunt Doreen, only what she sees through the lens and what the film captures are two completely different images, at least in her eyes. Life’s like that; what you see and what you get are not always the same thing. A fascinating and entertaining read.