All of the kids at school stay away from “Bluish,” but when Dreenie and Tuli learn to see beyond her differences, they discover a true friend Ten-year-old Natalie is different from the other kids at her New York City magnet school: She is often absent, wears a knit cap, and uses a wheelchair. Her classmates have nicknamed her “Bluish” because her pale skin is tinted blue from chemotherapy. Dreenie is fascinated by and a bit frightened of Bluish—she watches her from afar and writes about her in her journal. As the school year progresses, Dreenie and her friend Tuli learn to see beyond Bluish’s differences and discover a fiercely independent, spirited girl who isn’t so different from them after all. But it’s not easy being friends with someone who’s sick, and Dreenie doesn’t always know how to act. Hamilton delivers a lesson of compassion and demonstrates the power of friendship to overcome even the most trying of situations.
About the author
Virginia Hamilton (1934–2002) was the author of over forty books for children, young adults, and their older allies. Throughout a career that spanned four decades, Hamilton earned numerous accolades for her work, including nearly every major award available to writers of youth literature. In 1974, M.C. Higgins, the Great earned Hamilton the National Book Award, the Newbery Medal (which she was the first African-American author to receive), and the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, three of the field’s most prestigious awards. She received the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the highest international recognition bestowed on a writer of books for young readers, in 1992, and in 1995 became the first children’s book author to receive a MacArthur Fellowship, or “Genius Award.” She was also the recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award.
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