Guide to the Novel and Summary of Tangerine by Edward Bloor

Part 1

A summary of Tangerine by Edward Bloor will help you review and understand some of the major events of the story. The book is presented as a series of journal entries, so instead of chapter notes for Tangerine by Edward Bloor, you will instead find summaries of several days worth of entries. Part 1 sets the stage and introduces the major characters.

A New Home

This section introduces you to the Fisher family members and their new home in Tangerine County, Florida. There are many details revealed in the first chapters that become significant as later events as they unfold.


Paul and his mom take a last look at their empty house in Houston before leaving for their new home in Florida where Dad and his brother Erik await them. Paul suddenly remembers a time when he accused Erik of trying to kill him .Readers see the first mention of Paul’s thick glasses and poor eyesight.

Friday, August 18 – Wednesday, August 23

Paul and his mom arrive in Tangerine County, Florida and see a mix of citrus groves, industrial developments and burning groves that will become future developments. Readers learn about the Erik Fisher Football Dream. The next day, the family wakes up to smoke and Paul’s mom calls the fire department, thinking the house is on fire.However, they learn that it’s really a muck fire that constantly burns at the edge of their neighborhood. Paul tours the Lake Windsor Downs development. The entire family meets the Costellos.Mike Costello will be on the football team with Erik.

Paul tours his new middle school and makes plans to play on the soccer team. His mom tells the principal about his impaired vision and the principal says they should fill out an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for Paul. Paul’s mom is dissatisfied with the school because of the many portable classrooms and the lack of an auditorium and gymnasium. Paul and his mom drive from the middle school to Erik’s first football practice. They learn that there are constant afternoon thunderstorms in Florida, and Paul has a chance to play soccer with some guys from the middle school, including Joey Costello, Mike’s brother.

A New School and New Problems

Paul and Erik go back to school and try to find their niche in a new place.These chapters establish important character relationships and set in motion events that affect the rest of the plot.

Monday, August 28 – Friday, September 1

At the Lake Windsor Downs bus stop, Paul remembers waiting at the bus stop on the first day of kindergarten and being teased for his thick glasses. People said that his eyes were damaged from staring at an eclipse, but he actually doesn’t remember what happened to cause his vision problems. On the first day of school, the counselor tries to give him a guide because of his eyesight, but he asks the girl to please not follow him around.

Erik’s new friend is Arthur Bauer, and Paul sees him as someone who is around to do Erik’s bidding. Paul thinks their cheerleader girlfriends, Paige and Tina, are only with them because they want to date football players. Mom joins the homeowners’ association. Paul begins to hang out with Joey and tries out for the soccer team. At the first practice, he impresses the other players with his goaltending skills.

Tuesday, September 5 – Friday, September 8

Mike Costello is killed by lightning at football practice. Erik and Arthur joke about it when Paul’s parents aren’t around. Paul’s mom and dad fight because the school isn’t canceling football practices after the accident. They hold a meeting about the issue at their house and the coach agrees to hold practices in the morning. The coach tells Paul that he can’t play on the soccer team because of his IEP.

Saturday, September 9 – Friday, September 15

Mom and dad fight because the football team is practicing on the morning of Mike Costello’s funeral.Joey invites Paul to go to a carnival in Tangerine. They see students from Tangerine Middle School, and Joey warns him that kids from that school are dangerous.Paul feels left out of Joey’s group of friends at the carnival. At school the next week, Paul and Joey get called into the office because there was some vandalism at the carnival. They blame it on the students from Tangerine Middle School.

On the way back to class, the rain causes a sinkhole under the portable classrooms. Paul and Joey help pull students from the muck. Because of the accident, Dad’s boss is revealed to be a corrupt official who lived the high life while development went on in the county unchecked and uninspected. Dad becomes the new Director of Civil Engineering for Tangerine County. At a meeting, the principal reveals a relocation plan for Lake Windsor Downs Middle School students. One option is to attend Tangerine Middle School.Paul sees this as his opportunity to start over without an IEP and actually get to play soccer.

Part 2

At the end of Part 1, Paul was on the verge of getting a second chance at a different school. Find out what happens next in Paul’s new life at Tangerine Middle School.

A Second New Beginning

The focus of the summary of Tangerine by Edward Bloor shifts as Paul enrolls in a new school. Readers should pay close attention to how Paul fits in at Tangerine Middle School and how the school and its students compare to his life in Lake Windsor Downs.

Monday, September 18 – Wednesday, September 20

Paul attends Tangerine Middle School for the first time. The principal assigns Theresa Cruz to show him around. Theresa’s brother is on the soccer team, and Paul learns more about the team, including the fact that it’s a co-ed team. He shows up for practice and the coach tells him he can be a back-up player. Paul’s mom tells him that his IEP form "disappeared" as she was taking his file to his new school.

Some of Paul’s new teammates are the guys he and Joey saw at the carnival. They give him a hard time, but another player congratulates him on a good save at practice. Erik and Arthur make fun of Joey and the way he acted when his brother died. Paul encourages Joey to transfer to Tangerine Middle School.

Friday, September 22 – Saturday September 23

Tangerine Middle School plays its first soccer game against Palmetto Middle School. It’s a vicious game. The opposing team tries every dirty trick they can think of and the referee doesn’t call them on it. Paul even gets in a fight with a Palmetto player. In the end, Tangerine wins the game by one point.

On the bus ride home, Victor, one of the team’s best players tells him he’s a "War Eagle", the team mascot, and that they’ll be there to back him up. Joey transfers to Tangerine Middle School. The football team has its first game of the season. The team wins, but Erik doesn’t get his shining moment. Instead, he ends up on sports blooper reels when the coach decides to fake the kick.

New Friends

As Paul becomes more comfortable at his new school, chapter notes for Tangerine by Edward Bloor reveal more about the problems in Lake Windsor Downs, a growing divide between Paul and Joey, and the beauty and importance of the region’s citrus groves. Readers should pay close attention to these topics and the threads that tie them together.

Tuesday, September 26 – Tuesday, October 3

Tangerine Middle School wins its second game. When Victor has to leave the game with an injury, Paul takes his place and scores a goal. Paul gets a phone call from Joey’s girlfriend and finds out that Kerri Gardner might be interested in him. After soccer practice, Victor starts making fun of Joey and Joey doesn’t take it well. Paul’s mom is impressed by the female members on the Tangerine soccer team and convinces the Tangerine Times to do a story on them. Several houses in Lake Windsor Downs are tented to spray for bugs.

When they have to work on a group project in class, Paul learns that Joey quit the soccer team and that he’s not happy at Tangerine. Joey and Paul form a group with Tino, Theresa and Henry D. from the soccer team. They are going to do their science project on the Golden Dawn tangerine, a new type of tangerine their brother, Luis, created. Joey gets in a fight with Tino and leaves the group.

Wednesday, October 4 – Thursday, November 2

Paul’s mom hosts a homeowners’ association meeting at their house and they discuss a series of robberies at the houses that are being sprayed for bugs. Paul finds a file on his dad’s computer of football scholarship offers for Erik and sees that he hasn’t been recruited by any of their top schools. Joey leaves Tangerine Middle School. Paul visits the Cruz nursery to learn more about the Golden Dawn tangerine for their school project and enjoys the chance to see the trees up close. Paul has a flashback to another time when he had just lost his eyesight. Paul reflects on how everyone in his family, including him on the Tangerine soccer team, has been successful in Florida.

Saturday, November 4 – Friday, November 10

Paul returns to the Cruz nursery and connects with Tino and Luis while working. The Fisher family visits Mr. Donnelly’s house to meet some Florida college football supporters. Paul learns that his soccer coach, Betty Bright, was a champion track and field athlete. Paul remembers another moment after he lost his eyesight. Tangerine Middle School’s last home game is rained out, leaving them undefeated as they enter their final game against Lake Windsor Downs Middle School, the only other undefeated team in the county. When Shandra Thomas gets sick, Paul plays goalie and stops a penalty kick that secures the championship for the Tangerine team.

Part 3

In these final chapters Paul seems to have found his niche at Tangerine Middle School. As the novel reaches its climax in Part 3, there are still momentous events on the horizon and secrets to be revealed.

New Tragedies

This portion of the summary of Tangerine by Edward Bloor is essential to understanding the novel as a whole. Paul becomes bolder and searches for answers as he starts to see more clearly Erik’s twisted personality and his family’s acceptance of it. Readers should review these pages to make sure they also clearly understand the implications of these plot points and character developments.

Monday, November 20 – Monday, November 27

Paul’s friends come over to his house to finish their report on his computer. Erik and Arthur make fun of them, but Tino stands up to them and gets punched. Luis shows up at football practice the next day to confront Erik about hitting Tino. Arthur hits Luis in the head with a blackjack. A cold spell hits and Paul spends the night at the Cruz nursery doing everything he can to help save the trees. The football season ends. Paul questions his dad for the first time about the fact that he knows everything about Paul’s football season and nothing about his soccer season. Kerri calls and asks Paul out.

Tuesday, November 28 – Friday, December 1

Luis Cruz dies. Doctors think it was an aneurysm, possibly caused by a blow to the head. Paul knows it’s because Arthur hit Luis in the head. Theresa tells Paul not to come to the funeral because she doesn’t want trouble. Tino and Victor show up at the football awards program looking for revenge. Paul jumps on to the football coach’s back to help them get away. After the ceremony, as Erik and Arthur try to threaten him, Paul suddenly remembers what happened to his eyes. When he was five, Erik and his friend had sprayed spray paint directly onto his eyes. When he confronts his parents about it, they don’t deny it and say that they thought it was for the best.

A New Understanding

The final chapter notes of Tangerine by Edward Bloor deal with the aftermath of the revelations in previous chapters. Readers should pay attention to how all plot threads are wrapped up and may want to review previous chapters to find examples of foreshadowing.

Saturday, December 2 – Wednesday, December 6

Paul’s parents reveal to the neighborhood that Erik and Arthur are responsible for the robberies. Arthur is arrested for the murder of Luis Cruz. Paul tells the sheriff that Erik told Arthur to hit Luis. Paul’s grandparents arrive and for the first time his family clears the air about everything, starting with the attack on Paul that damaged his eyes. Paul is expelled for assaulting a teacher at the awards ceremony. He promises his friends that he’ll be back to play soccer the next year and that he’ll always be ready to help out at the nursery. The book ends with Paul riding to his new private school as the smell of citrus comes in the car window.

This post is part of the series: Study Tangerine by Edward Bloor

Learn more about the book Tangerine by Edward Bloor, including chapter notes, a list of characters and discussion questions.
  1. Summary of Tangerine by Edward Bloor
  2. Character List for Tangerine by Edward Bloor