A Touch of Blue

Children - Grade 4th-6th
210 Pages
Reviewed on 09/30/2023
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Author Biography

Tory Christie is a scientist by day, working as both a geologist and hydrologist. She also writes children’s books about science, technology, and nature. When it is light outside, she studies rocks and water and the rest of the environment. After dark, she writes science stories to inspire both kids and adults.

    Book Review

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.

Pikasho Deka

A Touch of Blue is an adventure novel for preteens. Written by Tory Christie, it tells the story of a ten-year-old girl named Cecilia "Celie" LaRue set in 1970. Growing up in a house with four brothers, Celie hopes her pregnant mother will give her a sister soon. She loves exploring the outdoors and finds a sister in the new girl in town, Honey Brooks. When news about a rare Canadian lynx spotted in the Wampus Woods reaches Celie's ears, she is determined to photograph it. Honey lives with an abusive mother and sees the world in colors. As the two friends set off on their mission, they must be wary of the mean kid in town who wants to use a BB gun on the lynx. Will Celie get her photograph? Can she save Honey from her situation at home?

A heartwarming tale of friendship and adventure, A Touch of Blue is a must-read for kids and young adults alike. Although primarily a children's story, author Tory Christie paints a moving portrait of life in small-town America in the 70s, perfectly capturing the beauty of nature and wildlife through the eyes of a ten-year-old kid and 1970s photography. The plot moves at an even pace, and Christie's smooth prose makes the reading experience effortless. Christie's characters have an emotional resonance that makes them believable and thoroughly compelling to read. Celie and Honey's friendship provides the heartbeat of the tale, but I also enjoyed the relationship dynamics with her family and the town's other inhabitants. I will gladly recommend A Touch of Blue to readers who love moving stories about friendship.

Edith Wairimu

A Touch of Blue by Tory Christie is a gem of a children’s book that develops the theme of friendship through the experiences of unforgettable and endearing characters. With four brothers to compete with for her parents’ attention and as the only girl in her fourth-grade class, Cecilia Blue LaRue hopes to have a sister. Lately, Celie’s relationship with her best friend, Junior Greyhawk, has been strained. When Honey Brooks joins Celie’s school, Celie is excited at the prospect of making a new best friend. One Saturday morning, Celie learns that a blue lynx has been seen in the Wampus Woods. A race to spot the rare Canadian wildcat ensues between Celie and Junior. Celie decides to take Honey along on the exciting and daunting adventure.

Through graceful and clear prose, Christie transports readers to a small charming town in this wonderful story set in 1970. Through the children’s adventures, she weaves together fascinating details about wildlife photography, intriguing descriptions of the lynx's characteristics, and powerful lessons about building friendships. Celie and Honey are a fantastic team and their adventures are thrilling and engaging. The sights and sounds of the woods and other places they encounter come alive through Honey's delightful perspective. I appreciated the main characters’ growth and loved their ability to draw insight from their experiences. Refreshingly authentic with invaluable lessons and an enchanting setting, A Touch of Blue by Tory Christie is a story of friendship with characters who will continue to live in readers’ hearts long after finishing this book.

Essien Asian

Cecilia cannot wait for her mother's pregnancy to come to term. When you are the only girl in a family of five boys, it becomes difficult to find a sibling who will understand her the way she wishes, so she fervently hopes that this time around, her mother will come home with a cute baby girl who will solve her predicament. While she waits for the big day, she befriends the new girl in her class who does not seem to be as happy as she would expect in making a new friend so soon. When a rare blue lynx is sighted within their vicinity, Cecilia sees the makings of an adventure that will bring her and her new friend together in Tory Christie’s A Touch Of Blue.

A Touch Of Blue is a children’s story that revolves around the life of a young girl and her adventures. Tory Christie does an excellent job of describing the world as we know it from the rare point of view of innocence when children see it. Her characters may seem basic at first glance but this merely fits into the overall profile of a children’s story as deeper analyses will yield the kind of realistic family ties that are replicated in millions of homes around the world. Christie tells her story beautifully using straightforward yet appealing language that is simple to understand and follow. Her emphasis on the relationships between her characters is evident in their conversations as these rotate around the development of bonds between individuals. The positive aspects of maintaining good morals are evidenced in Celie’s mishap with her father’s camera. A Touch Of Blue is an excellent example of the perfect reading experience that would develop young minds.

Cloie Belle Daffon

Tory Christie’s A Touch of Blue revolves around the story of two friends, Cecilia and Honey. Cecilia is often the only girl present in most situations. For example, her classmates are all boys, and she is the only daughter in her family. That's why, when she met Honey, the new girl in their neighborhood, she was eager to become friends with Honey. One day, Cecilia's father told her that a rare blue lynx had been spotted in the nearby woods. Initially, Cecilia was pleased, as she loved adventures. However, her resolve to discover this lynx grew even stronger after being taunted and insulted by her old friend Junior for being cowardly. Cecilia was determined to find the lynx first, and perhaps even photograph it. Join Cecilia and Honey as they embark on a dangerous journey to discover information about the Lynx.

A Touch of Blue by Tory Christie is well-written and enjoyable to read. The quotes and words on wildlife photography preceding each chapter were helpful and sparked my interest. Connie Resch's black-and-white paintings that accompanied the quotes and the opening of each chapter were charming, beautiful, and artistic. There are many valuable lessons to be found in this story that young people can learn from and benefit from. Cecilia was a lovely character that I couldn't help but adore. Despite feeling scared, she displayed remarkable courage and empathy for others. She also went the extra mile to help a friend. She is an outstanding role model for children her age with her courageous and kind-hearted personality. This story is perfect for parents to read to their children, as it is family-oriented. It enables the sharing of feelings and tales about family and encourages discussions about how they relate to the families of the story's characters. The book was both enlightening and entertaining. Excellent work.

Susan van der Walt

A Touch of Blue by Tory Christie takes middle-graders on an adventure with Cecilia Blue LaRue - or Celie as she is known. Celie is determined to make the best of the summer holiday before she turns eleven. Ten is the best age, according to her Aunt Doreen. To accomplish this, she needs an adventure, and finding the elusive blue lynx is just what she needs to do. But when her friend - Junior Greyhawk - starts hanging out with Rat, she knows she needs a new friend. Honey Brooks is the new kid on the block, and the friend Celie needs to support her in her adventure. Celie's biggest challenge is getting her Dad to let her use his camera so she can take a photo as proof of finding the blue lynx. But Celie also looks forward to the new baby; she is wishing for a little sister.

I love little Honey Brooks and the fascinating names she uses for the many colors they encounter, like Vivid Violet, Desert Sand, and Mountain Meadow. In A Touch of Blue, Tory Christie touches on themes like grief, abuse, and the effect of a new baby in the family. I love the photography quotes at the beginning of every section, which indicates the concepts encountered in that section and hint at the life lessons Celie will learn. But Celie not only finds the lynx; she also discovers much about herself - her courage, empathy with others, and that her Dad is proud of her and will always love her.

June Dordal

Beautiful story of friendship , loss, and finding your place in your family. Celia and Honey are wonderfully written characters who you will fall in love with. Highly recommend this book for everyone!