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Is That You, Miss Blue? by M. E. Kerr

Is That You, Miss Blue?

by M. E. Kerr

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I read this book for a book report when I was in fourth grade. My report said something to the effect of this was the worst book ever, it basically had no plot, and I couldn't even think of anything to write about because nothing happened. It is the only book I remember hating as a child. So I thought I'd read it again to see what was so awful.

What was so awful is that this book is not written for fourth graders. It is more of a teenager book and I'm not sure how my grade school librarian ended up giving it to me. (I seem to remember this is how I got my hands on it.) The book takes place in a Christian boarding school and is narrated by Flanders, a student at the school who was sent there by her unconventional, atheist father after her mother ran off with a much younger man. Flanders becomes friends with Cardmaker, a preacher's kid, and Agnes, a student who is deaf. The three of them rebel against the mainstream culture of the school and stand up for Miss Blue, the outcast teacher.

Miss Blue is the faculty resident in their dorm, and is a strange, yet sweet and genuine individual who has extreme faith in Jesus, to the point of having visions and experiences others call crazy. Although she doesn't agree with Miss Blue's religion, Flanders feels that Miss Blue is the best teacher in the school. The school administration sees it differently and feels Miss Blue is a liability.

All of this must have been way to complicated for me to understand as a fourth grader. It explores themes of religion, atheism, and basic issues in teenage life.

Miss Blue's character makes me really sad as an adult, but I'm sure I didn't understand it as a kid. Her character is intentionally not well developed and her past is full of mysteries, but she one is those people that is just too kind and innocent to live in such a cruel world.

I wish I still had my book report, or that I could somehow reenter my fourth grade head so I could understand how I processed this book at the time.

It wasn't a great book, but I didn't hate it, things did happen, and I'm glad I read it again. ( )
  klburnside | Aug 11, 2015 |
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During her first term at boarding school, fifteen-year-old Flanders tries to cope with a variety of unusual people and situations and come to terms with her conflicting emotions about her recently separated parents.

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