Me and Blue

Children - Social Issues
206 Pages
Reviewed on 04/07/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Growing up is hard enough without the added stress of being an introvert, a book lover, and being what everyone dubs ‘the Professor.’ Joshua has always been an outsider, bullied and tormented by his peers. To add to the dilemma he faces, now in high school, is that his mum doesn’t understand and, when a birthday party invitation comes from one of the toughest bullies no less, she insists he attend. It couldn’t go much worse if he had dreamed it up. Beaten, bullied, he escapes to the library and sits it out until his step-dad comes to the rescue. If only Joshua’s biological father were still around. He’d understand. He’d be supportive and help Joshua find his way in this bully-infested world. And then, Joshua’s imagination in the form of an imaginary friend, who looks much like his childhood favorite stuffed rabbit called Blue, appears and offers the moral support Joshua needs most – someone to talk to who is not judgemental.

Joanna B. McGarry’s young adult novel, Me and Blue, is a heart-wrenching story in many ways as the plot leans heavily on the issue of bullying. The story is told in the first person from Joshua’s point of view and the realism of his plight is sad, not to mention troubling. The plot unfolds as Joshua maneuvers his way through the minefield of bullies, making friends with other like-minded, quiet students like Karl and Tam, along with Tam’s German Shepherd, Shep. Who would have thought that a high school student would need an imaginary friend to help him navigate multiple obstacles and challenges on the road to adulthood. And underneath the struggles of surviving a toxic high school experience is the need to find and reconnect with his biological father. The author uses descriptive narrative effectively, expertly recreating scenes of high school student antics and interactions. Dialogue is well used and believable. The plot reaches its climax and resolution, landing on an even bigger dilemma that anyone could have imagined. Is there a sequel in the works?