Meet Basil. He’s a twelve –year-old boy who has been homeschooled by his grandmother until this year. He’s different from the other kids, and as a result has no friends.
Meet Basil. He’s a twelve –year-old boy who has been homeschooled by his grandmother until this year. He’s different from the other kids, and as a result has no friends. Basil also has a disease known as synesthesia. Synesthesia is a condition in which one sense is simultaneously perceived as if by one or more additional senses. The most common form of this condition, as in Basil’s case, is seeing numbers as certain colors, and vice versa. Since he was homeschooled most of his life, he thinks this is perfectly normal, and hasn’t felt the need to tell anyone. But when he is at school he soon realizes he is not normal, and gets teased because of it.
Basil doesn’t mind being a loner, so when a new girl named Tenzie comes and starts hanging around him, he becomes annoyed. But he soon finds they are more similar than he had first thought. Tenzie has synesthesia as well, and they both have parental issues. Basil’s mom abandoned him when he was a baby and he has no idea who his dad is. Tenzie has parents, but she could be a piece of furniture for all the attention they give her. When Basil’s mother decides to return and take care of him, Basil’s whole world is turned upside down. He bonds with Tenzie, and they go on an amazing adventure together.
“One+One=Blue,” by MJ Auch, is a simple novel, meant for children ten and up. Younger children are probably capable of reading the book, but older children will be able to relate to the characters and situations more. The book discusses school and home difficulties, a topic many kids can relate to. The characters are very realistic, which makes the book more interesting. Some of the events are unrealistic, but overall the novel is well-written. The story lacks complexity, which makes it less intriguing for older readers. But, it does help in the manner that younger readers are able to understand and empathize with the characters. The story is somewhat predictable, but the characters personalities develop slowly, which I liked.
While the novel does not really go into the details of synesthesia, it does briefly explain the condition, and leave you wanting to know more. I had never heard of it before I read the story, but even the brief description provided taught me a bit about it. I was fascinated and longed to know more. I was compelled to research this condition, so I really did learn a lot from the book. It can teach kids about how to deal with friends and family. The book is primarily about relationships, and works you through the complicated family relationships of two young children who long to be loved.