“Tangerine” is a compelling young adult novel written by Edward Bloor, first published in 1997. Set in Tangerine County, Florida, the story follows twelve-year-old Paul Fisher as he navigates a new school, family dynamics, and his passion for soccer. Through Paul’s eyes, Bloor explores themes such as identity, discrimination, family bonds, friendship, and the pursuit of dreams. This essay will delve into the captivating narrative of “Tangerine” and discuss the valuable lessons it imparts.

Identity and Self-Discovery

One of the central themes in “Tangerine” is identity and self-discovery. Paul Fisher, the protagonist, struggles with his own identity as he grapples with his older brother Erik’s shadow. Paul is visually impaired due to an incident involving Erik, which further complicates his search for self-identity. Through his experiences at Tangerine Middle School and interactions with a diverse group of characters, Paul gradually discovers his own strengths, passions, and values, ultimately gaining confidence in his abilities.

Discrimination and Prejudice

Bloor tackles the theme of discrimination and prejudice in “Tangerine” through the exploration of racial and socioeconomic divides in Tangerine County. Paul’s family moves to Tangerine, a community marked by a stark contrast between the privileged residents in Lake Windsor Downs and the marginalized population in the surrounding areas. Bloor raises awareness of the unfair treatment faced by minority communities and the consequences of prejudice. As Paul befriends individuals from different backgrounds, he challenges the stereotypes and biases perpetuated by those around him, ultimately advocating for inclusivity and equality.

Family Bonds and Dysfunction

The concept of family is intricately woven into the fabric of “Tangerine.” Paul’s family is plagued by dysfunction, particularly due to his brother Erik’s volatile behavior and his parents’ inability to confront the truth. Despite these challenges, the novel also highlights the enduring strength of family bonds. Paul’s interactions with his parents and his younger brother, as well as the guidance he receives from his grandfather, show the importance of love, forgiveness, and understanding within a family unit. The story serves as a reminder that even in difficult times, families can find solace and support in one another.

Friendship and Loyalty

Friendship and loyalty are essential elements of Paul’s journey in “Tangerine.” As he navigates the complex dynamics of his new school, he forms friendships with other students who share his love for soccer. Through these relationships, Bloor underscores the significance of genuine connections and mutual support. Paul’s friends stand by him, help him discover the truth about his past, and empower him to confront his fears. The novel emphasizes the transformative power of friendship, as it provides a sense of belonging and the strength to overcome adversity.

Pursuit of Dreams and Personal Fulfillment

The pursuit of dreams is another recurring theme in “Tangerine.” Paul’s unwavering passion for soccer acts as a driving force throughout the story. Despite facing numerous obstacles, including his visual impairment and the opposition he encounters from others, Paul remains steadfast in his pursuit of his athletic aspirations. Bloor illustrates the importance of perseverance, determination, and self-belief in achieving personal fulfillment and reaching one’s goals.

What is the book Tangerine about?

“Tangerine” by Edward Bloor is a young adult novel that tells the story of twelve-year-old Paul Fisher and his experiences as he moves to Tangerine County, Florida. The novel explores themes of identity, discrimination, family dynamics, friendship, and the pursuit of dreams.

Paul Fisher is visually impaired due to an incident involving his older brother, Erik, and moves to Tangerine with his family. The town is divided into two distinct communities: the affluent Lake Windsor Downs and the lower-income surrounding areas. As Paul starts at his new school, Tangerine Middle School, he encounters a diverse group of students and confronts the racial and socioeconomic divides present in the community.

Throughout the story, Paul struggles with his own identity, overshadowed by Erik’s actions and reputation. He seeks to establish his own place in the world and gain recognition for his talents, particularly in soccer, which he is passionate about.

As Paul forms friendships with other students who share his love for soccer, he begins to challenge stereotypes and prejudices. He confronts the unfair treatment faced by minority communities and advocates for inclusivity and equality. Through his interactions with these friends and his family, Paul learns valuable lessons about loyalty, forgiveness, and the strength of family bonds.

“Tangerine” also explores the theme of the pursuit of dreams. Despite facing obstacles, including his visual impairment and opposition from others, Paul remains determined to pursue his passion for soccer and achieve personal fulfillment. The novel highlights the importance of perseverance, self-belief, and the support of genuine friendships in overcoming adversity.

Overall, “Tangerine” is a compelling coming-of-age story that addresses relevant social issues and emphasizes the power of personal growth, empathy, and understanding.

Is the Tangerine book based on a true story? 

No, “Tangerine” by Edward Bloor is not based on a true story. It is a work of fiction. While the novel includes realistic elements and explores themes that reflect real-world issues, the characters and events in the story are not based on real people or specific events. The author, Edward Bloor, crafted the narrative to create a compelling and thought-provoking story that resonates with readers.

Why is Tangerine a good book?

“Tangerine” is widely regarded as a good book for several reasons:

  1. Engaging and Unique Storyline: The novel offers a captivating and unique storyline that keeps readers hooked from beginning to end. The combination of themes such as identity, discrimination, family dynamics, friendship, and pursuing dreams creates a rich and multifaceted narrative.

  2. Well-Developed Characters: The characters in “Tangerine” are complex, relatable, and undergo significant growth throughout the story. Readers can empathize with their struggles, motivations, and triumphs, making them emotionally invested in the outcome.

  3. Exploration of Relevant Themes: The book delves into important themes that resonate with readers, especially young adults. Issues such as identity, discrimination, and the pursuit of dreams are explored with depth and sensitivity, providing opportunities for reflection and discussion.

  4. Realistic Portrayal of Social Issues: “Tangerine” tackles social issues, including racial and socioeconomic divides, discrimination, and prejudice. The novel sheds light on these topics in a realistic and thought-provoking manner, promoting empathy and understanding among readers.

  5. Strong Moral and Emotional Lessons: The book imparts valuable moral and emotional lessons, such as the power of perseverance, the importance of family bonds and friendship, and the significance of standing up against injustice. These lessons can resonate with readers of all ages and encourage personal growth and empathy.

  6. Compelling Writing Style: Edward Bloor’s writing style is engaging and accessible, making it suitable for young adult readers. The pacing, descriptive language, and dialogue contribute to an immersive reading experience.

  7. Relevant and Timely Subject Matter: Despite being published in 1997, “Tangerine” addresses themes and issues that remain relevant today. Its exploration of discrimination, identity, and social dynamics ensures its continued relevance and appeal.

Overall, “Tangerine” is considered a good book due to its engaging storyline, well-developed characters, exploration of important themes, realistic portrayal of social issues, impactful life lessons, compelling writing style, and its enduring relevance.

What is the moral of the story Tangerine?

The moral of the story in “Tangerine” revolves around several key themes and lessons, ultimately highlighting the power of perseverance, empathy, and understanding. Here are some of the main morals and takeaways from the book:

  1. Overcoming adversity: One of the central morals of “Tangerine” is the importance of overcoming adversity. Despite facing obstacles such as his visual impairment and the challenges posed by his family dynamics, Paul Fisher remains determined to pursue his dreams. The novel teaches readers that with resilience, self-belief, and perseverance, it is possible to overcome obstacles and achieve personal fulfillment.

  2. Challenging stereotypes and prejudices: “Tangerine” emphasizes the need to challenge stereotypes and prejudices. Through Paul’s interactions with a diverse group of characters, the novel confronts racial and socioeconomic divides, advocating for inclusivity and equality. It encourages readers to question biases and prejudices and to treat others with empathy and fairness, regardless of their background or circumstances.

  3. The strength of family bonds: The book underscores the significance of family bonds, despite the challenges and dysfunction that may exist within a family. Paul’s interactions with his parents, his younger brother, and his grandfather demonstrate the importance of love, forgiveness, and understanding within a family unit. It emphasizes that even in difficult times, families can find solace, support, and strength in each other.

  4. The transformative power of friendship: “Tangerine” highlights the transformative power of genuine friendship. As Paul forms friendships with other students who share his love for soccer, these relationships become a source of support, encouragement, and empowerment. The novel emphasizes the value of authentic connections and mutual support, underscoring the importance of friendship in overcoming challenges and achieving personal growth.

  5. Pursuing passions and dreams: Another moral of the story is the significance of pursuing passions and dreams. Despite the obstacles and discouragement Paul faces, he remains committed to his passion for soccer. The novel encourages readers to identify their own passions and pursue them with determination, reminding them that the pursuit of dreams can lead to personal fulfillment and growth.

In summary, the moral of “Tangerine” revolves around perseverance, challenging prejudices, the importance of family bonds, the power of friendship, and the pursuit of passions and dreams. The book encourages readers to overcome obstacles, treat others with empathy and fairness, find strength and support in their families, nurture genuine friendships, and pursue their dreams with unwavering determination.

What age is the book Tangerine for?


Edward Bloor’s “Tangerine” offers readers a thought-provoking and emotionally charged narrative that addresses various themes relevant to young adults. Through Paul Fisher’s journey of self-discovery, the novel explores the concepts of identity, discrimination, family bonds, friendship, and the pursuit of dreams. By shedding light on these themes, Bloor encourages readers to reflect on their own lives and consider the impact of their choices and interactions with others. “Tangerine” serves as a reminder of the power of resilience, empathy, and understanding in shaping both individual journeys and the communities in which we live.

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Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I’ve been writing articles for more than 10 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I’m currently writing for many websites and newspaper. All my ideas come from my very active lifestyle. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. In all my years as computer scientist made me become an incredible researcher. I believe that any information should be free, we want to know more every day because we learn everyday. You can contact me on our forum or by email at: [email protected].