by Edward Bloor
Paul Fisher's family is moving from Texas to Florida for a number of reasons. The most important one seems to be so that Paul's older brother Erik can impress the football scouts at some major universities. Indeed, most of what his parents do seems to be part of what Paul calls "The Great Erik Fisher Football Dream." It is not that Paul is jealous. He, too, possesses some tremendous athletic ability on the soccer field despite being legally blind. But Erik is the favored son, indulged by parents, teachers, coaches, and friends, even though Paul knows that Erik's behavior is less than perfect. The move to Tangerine, Florida, might just open the eyes of everyone in the Fisher family.
Look back through Tangerine and choose what you think is the most important word or concept from this book. Don't just choose the title or a character's name choose a word that is actually in the book that you feel sums up what the whole book is really about. Share your reasoning with others. Did any of you choose the same word? Explain the insights into Tangerine 's theme that your choice of most important word offers.
Paul fears his brother's physical retaliations, is angry at his father's apparent favoritism toward his brother, and resents his mother's apparent inability to see Erik for what he really is. Erik, therefore, appears to be the root of Paul's problems. Is this true? Is Erik the main conflict that Paul faces? If Erik is what caused and continues to cause Paul's problems, what caused, and perhaps continues to cause, Erik's problems?
Paul's subdivision was built on a foundation of termite-infested ground, next to a field that constantly burns muck fires, near a school that is built on land that becomes a sinkhole. In what ways is the setting of the town of Tangerine a metaphor for Paul's life? What is it that eats away at Paul's foundation? What fire burns constantly in Paul's life? What is...