Bluish is strange and frightening, coming to school in a wheelchair, thin, pale, and weak. She’s having chemotherapy for her leukemia. Can you be friends with someone like that? Dreenie is determined to figure out how.
Bluish was pale like moonlight, skin so thin and translucent that her veins showed through. She came to school in a wheelchair, and she always wore a hat, pulled low over her forehead and ears.
Dreenie was new at school. She was tall, black and muscular, and sometimes she looked angry even when she wasn’t. When she did, she knew that people on the street were afraid of her, and that hurt.
Tuli was a year and a half older than Dreenie, but still in the 5th grade with her. She was loud and a little wild, with long curly brown hair and honey colored skin. Sometimes she tried to be Spanish, singing, “chica-chica-chica” as she walked down the hall at school. Dreenie called her Tulifoolie, and wished she wouldn’t try so hard to be something she wasn’t. But Dreenie also knew that Tuli was just covering up. Trying to forget she didn’t have what Dreenie did, a home and a family.
Three girls. Three colors. Three kinds of courage. Courage to look beyond differences, to share, to be friends. Courage to do what no one else dared to do, what was different and sometimes scary. It was easy to see that Bluish had been bad sick for a long time. She got tired quickly, and her body was thin and bony. Even her voice was small and thin. The kids in her class were afraid of her and didn’t know how to act around her. But Dreenie was different. She was fascinated by Bluish and wanted to be her friend.
Can you be friends with someone who looks and acts so different, so scary? Dreenie wasn’t sure, but she knew she was going to try.
This Booktalk was written by librarian and booktalking expert Joni R. Bodart