A Solitary Blue Analysis

Form and Content (Survey of Young Adult Fiction)

A Solitary Blue explores the psychological damage inflicted upon an only child by deficient parents. Spanning approximately ten years, the novel begins when seven-year-old Jeff Greene comes home from school one day to find a note from his mother, Melody, explaining that she has left him to continue her serious social work. Abandoned by the mother that he adores and fearful of losing his remaining parent, Jeff withdraws. Over a period of four years, Jeff and his father, the Professor, assume an orderly and mirthless routine, broken only by the occasional visits of the Professor’s colleague, Brother Thomas. An invitation to spend the summer in Charleston with his mother promises to change everything.

The summer is a magical one for Jeff. He is captivated by his mother’s warm, spontaneous charm and by the music that she plays on the guitar. After a few days, however, Melody is again busy with her “causes.” Jeff is largely left to fend for himself until the end of the summer, when Melody exchanges his airline ticket for a bus ticket and sends him back to Baltimore without any traveling money. Nevertheless, Jeff adores his mother so much that he overlooks her self-centered behavior.

In Baltimore for another school year, Jeff writes Melody numerous letters, to which he receives no reply. Her rejection is softened somewhat by the friendship of Brother Thomas, who provides guidance and good humor to both Jeff and the Professor. In his...

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A Solitary Blue Setting

The setting of A Solitary Blue is integral to the story and its themes. The story begins in Baltimore, then moves between Charleston,...

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A Solitary Blue Literary Qualities

Voigt has been described in the New York Book Review as "a wonderful writer with powerfully moving things to say." The wide variety of...

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A Solitary Blue Social Sensitivity

Melody's early abandonment of her child and her later betrayal of his trust create perhaps the most sensitive issue in A Solitary...

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A Solitary Blue Topics for Discussion

1. Are Jeff's personality characteristics more like his father's or his mother's? Who do you think he wants to be more like at the beginning...

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A Solitary Blue Ideas for Reports and Papers

1. Why do the Professor and Jeff decide to move to the small house on the Chesapeake Bay? How does this quiet setting affect Jeff?

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A Solitary Blue Related Titles / Adaptations

A Solitary Blue is the third of six books that deal with the Tillerman family. Each book depicts many of the same characters but...

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A Solitary Blue For Further Reference

Donahue, Rosanne. "New Realism in Children's Fiction." In Masterworks of Children's Literature, edited by William T. Moynihan and Mary...

(The entire section is 241 words.)