Posted: Friday, November 30, 2012 5:56:03 PM
Throughout my life there have been many books that have had a positive impact on me. However, the book that made the biggest change in my life is “Tangerine” by Edward Bloor. In this book, the main character Paul Fisher was considered to be the nerd of the school. He was athletic, but he was also legally blind. Paul was also always picked on by his older brother. This book spoke to me because I was always looked at as the freak. When I moved back to Florida and started at a new school, I felt as if I was always being tackled.
In the book “Tangerine”, Paul played soccer. In elementary school I loved to run. Gym was my favorite class because my coach always made us run. Running was a way for me to release the steam of judgment from everyone that had thrown their wicked words at me. I didn’t think that running made everyone hate me more than they already did. The girls in my class thought that I liked to run because I wanted attention from boys. All of the guys in my class thought it was cool, but I wasn’t a part of their crowd so they laughed at what their friends had to say about me.
I’m not legally blind like Paul but I’ve had things that made people look at me differently. I was always nervous around other people which made me sweat. Every day at school, I would be damp, and my deodorant would wear off. After about two hours of school, I would become musky, which gave the class something to laugh about. People who said that they were my friends pointing at my sweat stains that were large enough to see across the hall. I was embarrassed and hated going to school for that reason. Seeing everyone stare at me, laughing it wasn’t easy. I got pushed around in the hallways, and jumped on by classmates because of my anxiety.
The summer after sixth grade, I had to read “Tangerine”. I didn’t expect to read about a character that was similar to me in so many ways. Sure, Paul wasn’t bullied by students the way I was, but he had an older brother that made his life incredibly hard to live. He didn’t get laughed at by others because he ran track, but his brother didn’t think he was a very talented soccer player. After reading this book, I realized that it doesn’t matter what people say, or think about you, it matters what you think. I realized that the only reason I was nervous, was because I knew that I would be surrounded by the same people who teased me every day, and I didn’t know how to deal with it. Paul Fisher taught me how to be myself, without worrying about what anyone else thinks. Tangerine was a book that changed my life.