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Do you get super excited when one of your favorite authors comes out with a new book? Me too! (I’m assuming you said yes, right?) I loved Cassie Beasly’s debut middle-grade novel, Circus Mirandus, so when her new novel, Tumble & Blue, arrived in the mail, I dropped my other reads so I could start it right away.

The Story

Blue gets dumped at his grandma’s house in a tiny town in Georgia swampland. But that’s not his biggest problem. Blue has a curse which causes him never to be able to win. Fate, in fact, controls the whole Montgomery family. Some, like Blue, have bad fates, while some, like his dad, have good ones. And Blue is resigned to his fate… until he meets Tumble.

Tumble is determined to be a hero, even though things never turn out quite right. There’s something in her past she’s trying to make up for, and being a hero seems the only way. She’s determined to prove Blue’s curse is all in his head.

Destiny, friendship, and a magical alligator named Munch thread together Tumble and Blue’s story which asks, “Can you choose your own fate?”

What I Loved About Tumble & Blue

  1. Thought-provoking questions–Even though most of us might not believe in fates and curses, Beasley uses them to think about bigger questions. How much of what we do is free will? Can we control our own destiny? I love books that make kids think.
  2. Friendship--I love the friendship between Tumble and Blue. I appreciate that there isn’t even a hint of romance in it. They have to work through their fair share of problems as this story explores what friendship is all about.

Parents Should Know

  • Difficult family situations--Blue and his dad have a strained relationship. Blue wants for it to be better, but his dad basically abandons him at his grandmother’s. At one point, Blue calls him and tells his dad to come back for him right then or not at all.
  • Peril--There is a small amount of peril in the story including a boy nearly drowning. And a lot of alligators.
  • Theft–Tumble and Blue borrow-without-asking/steal a boat.
  • Fates and curses–If you are uncomfortable with these, this is not the book for your family since this is the basis of the story.

Overall, I think Tumble & Blue is a great read for kids 10 and up. I don’t love it as much as Beasley’s first book, Circus Mirandus (review HERE), but it was thoughtful and imaginative, two qualities I love in a book.

Do you have a favorite novel about friendship or fate?

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