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Blue Paperback – August 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 11 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Calkins Creek (August 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590788354
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590788356
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Gr. 4-7. Thirteen-year-old Ann Fay always wanted to be just like her father, but when he gives her a pair of overalls before going off to fight Hitler, her feelings are mixed: "Wearing britches so I could take the place of my daddy wasn't the same as wearing them so I could climb trees." [...] Hostetter weaves her own North Carolina community's history into heartfelt fiction, marked by an agreeable, vernacular narrative and unobtrusive symbolism surrounding the color blue--the hue of both Ann Fay's overalls and the pesky wisteria vine that, like grown-up responsibility made palpable, threatens to overtake her victory garden. An incongruous structural rift mars the novel's latter half, set in the polio hospital, where the heart-tugging family drama gives way to a programmatic story line about an obstacle-laden friendship between Ann Fay and an African American patient. Still, the intriguing history of the illness and the powerful first-person voice will propel readers through to the novel's deeply satisfying conclusion. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"The intriguing history of the illness and the powerful first-person voice will propel readers through to the novel's deeply satisfying conclusion." --Booklist


"Chock full of life, history and character development. . . . The subject of polio is a rare one in children's fiction, and these characters and their story are worth getting to know." --Kirkus Reviews


"Chock full of life, history and character development. ...The subject of polio is a rare one in children's fiction, and these characters and their story are worth getting to know." --Kirkus Reviews


"This fascinating book will keep the reader captivated until the very last page." --Children's Literature

More About the Author

Joyce Moyer Hostetter grew up in rural North Carolina. After a brief struggle with Dick, Jane, and Sally in first grade she became an avid reader. Reading was a great way to find solitude in the midst of life with seven siblings. She also figured out if she wanted to get a word in edgewise she'd have to write it down!

Her middle grade Language Arts teacher told her she'd be a great writer some day so she began working hard to live up to that goal. However,she spent some years raising her two children, running a preschool, and teaching special education before turning to writing as a career.

She is now the author of four historical novels and has several in-progress. Her book BLUE about a North Carolina polio epidemic won the International Reading Association Children's Book Award in addition to other honors. The sequel, Comfort is now available. Healing Water, her book about Hawaii's leprosy settlement, is not nearly as depressing as it sounds!

Joyce has always loved history and she's crazy about research. She loves scrounging up some powerful hidden bit of history and sharing it with the world through compelling fiction. Although her novels are geared toward middle graders, they are widely enjoyed by adults as well.

Joyce speaks at schools, conferences, and conventions about her books and the history behind them. She also speaks about the writing process.

When she is not writing and speaking she's likely to be pulling weeds or planting flowers with the help of her husband and a grandchild or two. Or three. Or five.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 24 customer reviews
It's also a story of love, sheer will, and small acts of heroism.
E. R. Bird
Usually I really like to read things in order, but honestly, this novel can stand alone just as well as Comfort can.
Tina Says
Thank you Mrs. Hostetter for this wonderful story about The Miracle of Hickory.
Jane B. Hewitt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jane B. Hewitt on June 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is true to the Hickory Polio Camp & the accompanying times. It is a excellent portrayal of the great epidemic of 1944. It does not mention my most vivid memory. When visiting my brother, we went through a long corridor to his ward. There were iron lungs lined up as far as the eye could see, and as I recall, there was a nurse beside every iron lung. I also remember Dr. Dorothy Horstmann very well & feel she should be remembered on the same level as Jonas Salk & Sabin. This is an accurate historical novel that should be read by everyone young & old. Thank you Mrs. Hostetter for this wonderful story about The Miracle of Hickory.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Todd Burkhalter on April 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
What a well written book and also one that inspired me to do further research on polio and US History during that period. The author has a great writing style and character development, I could not put the book down until I was through it. Recommended for adults and teens!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on July 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Ah, historical fiction. Though it was the bane of my youth, in my old age I'm finding the subject infinitely more interesting that I ever did as an actual kid. I was always the child who'd rather eyeball the latest Anne McCaffery rather than choke down an Elizabeth George Speare. Now I almost look forward to delights like "Blue". Especially when they have covers as engaging as this one. Evoking more than a few "To Kill a Mockingbird" feelings through its cover art, Joyce Moyer Hostetter brings us a tale of racism, polio, and war. It's also a story of love, sheer will, and small acts of heroism. And though I'd some problems with Hostetter's methods, this is one of the best-researched thoroughly engaging tales of 1944-45 you'll find this year.

Ann Fay Honeycutt's father's going to war. It's 1944 and American troops are constantly shipping out. Before he leaves, Ann Fay's daddy hands her a pair of overalls and informs his eldest daughter that she's going to have to be the man of the house while he's gone. Ann Fay feels up to the job, taking care of her siblings and tending the family's garden in her dad's absence. Unfortunately, there's a polio epidemic in this part of North Carolina and before anyone knows it the dread disease grabs ahold of Ann Fay's little brother Bobby. Now Ann Fay has to deal with a horribly depressed mother and twin little sisters all in the midst of remaining under a quarantine. When Ann Fay herself comes down with polio, however, she makes the acquaintance of a colored girl and begins to accept what has happened to her with a kind of grace.

Now I have a low down-home-folksy-goodness-mixed-with-hopeful-wisdom tolerance.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Crabtree on May 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Blue is a compelling story. Hostetter brings out a full range of emotions in the reader. I truly felt for the characters, especially the protagonist, Ann Fay. I could identify so well with Ann's insecurities just as much as I celebrated her triumphs. The author uses metaphor like a master painter would wield the paintbrush. I love how she compares the fight against Hitler with the fight against polio. This is a must read if you are interested in the polio epidemic, WWII era, or just a profound story of perseverance through life's joys and sorrows.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Wendy H. Davis on May 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Blue is a beautiful story of strength and courage in the midst of adversity. It is a wonderful portrayal of southern life and it's real-life struggles with Polio, WWII, and the racial divide. It is well worth reading and once you start you won't be able to put it down!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Willow on January 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I don't know if this book has won any of the children's literature prizes.But it should!

The tough,funny,true-to-the-South characters, make this a heart tangling story of a young girl's toughness in the face of her father's absence in World War II, the terrifying polio epidemic that sweeps over her home town and her first heart-to-heart sense of what segregation has done to girls just like her, except that they are black.

The story is beautifully written giving a sense of the red clay, the wisteria and the natural environment. Research notes look extensive, but this story reads to the heart.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mary Ellen Snodgrass on July 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Young readers should find this novel illuminating on two levels, the medical and the social. Hostetter's story of a child's survival of epidemic polio offers a wrenching appraisal of parallel cruelties--crippled children at an orthopedic center where segregation relegates blacks to a tent city on the lawn.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Linda King VanBenschoten on April 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a marvelous book. I couldn't put it down. I began reading it to my two children (5, 8)...they won't let me STOP reading it to them. A wonderful, engaging story of Polio and its effects on a community.
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