The protagonist of a story is the main character who traditionally undergoes some sort of change. He or she must usually overcome some opposing force. In this story, the protagonist is Paul. This book is his journal.
The antagonist of a story is the force that provides an obstacle for the protagonist. The antagonist does not always have to be a single character or even a character at all. Paul’s brother, Erik, is the main antagonist. Arthur, Erik’s friend, is another antagonist. An additional minor antagonist is the sinkhole.
The climax of a plot is the major turning point that allows the protagonist to resolve the conflict. The climax occurs when Arthur hits Luis with the blackjack.
The outcome is the final resolution of the story or the denouement. The main outcome is when Paul is able to remember what injured his eyes. Another outcome is when Arthur is arrested for killing Luis.
The Fisher family moves to Tangerine, Florida, because the father has a new job there as the Deputy Director of Civil Engineering. They live in a new house in a new development called Lake Windsor Downs. The combination high school and middle school that they will be attending is also named Lake Windsor.
Paul soon learns about some unusual occurrences in Tangerine, like muck fires.
Paul is unhappy because his mother tells the school that he cannot see. Paul believes that he can see. He can see even better than his parents at times, like when they are looking at his brother, Erik. Paul thinks his parents cannot see what Erik is really like.
Paul has been told that he has to wear thick glasses because years ago he supposedly looked at an eclipse too long. Paul suspects that there is a connection between the thick glasses and the eclipse story and his brother, Erik. But, Paul’s mind has blocked out any specifics.
Paul’s mother is not happy with the school, but. Paul is okay with it because they have a soccer team on which he wants to play. Paul tries out for the soccer team. However, because his IEP says that he is visually impaired, he cannot play. It has something to do with the school’s insurance.
The Fishers are caught up in what is referred to as the Erik Fisher Football Dream. Erik specializes in kicking a football. Dad hopes that Erik’s ability to kick will get him a college football scholarship. Dad has already introduced Erik to the high school football coach. So, while Erik goes to try-outs, he doesn’t really need to try out.
Mike Costello, a member of the high school football team, is killed by lightning. Erik’s friend, Arthur, will benefit by this because he will now be holding the ball for Erik to kick, a job that, without the tragedy, would have been Mike’s.
After Mike Costello’s funeral, on the same day, Joey, who is Mike’s brother, and Paul go to a carnival because Joey’s parents want to get his mind off the funeral. At the carnival Paul becomes aware of students from Tangerine Middle School. The next school day, Paul, Joey, and several other students are questioned about their time at the carnival. The Sheriff’s Department has contacted the school because some soccer players are said to have vandalized an exhibit at the carnival. Paul suggests that the culprits might be from Tangerine Middle School. Then Paul worries that the Tangerine soccer players might find out who named them.
Soon, Paul’s attention turns toward an immediate problem. A sinkhole has formed nearby. Paul is one of those who help rescue people. This helps build Paul’s self-esteem. The following week Paul finds out that he will be attending Tangerine Middle School while the damage done by the sinkhole is repaired.
Paul likes Tangerine Middle School. The soccer coach says that he can be backup goalie. There is also another reason to be happy. His mother tells him that the IEP from Lake Windsor disappeared out of his folder while she was transporting it to Tangerine Middle School.
Paul feels like he is really a part of the Tangerine War Eagles soccer team when Victor, a main player, tells him that the team is there for him.
Paul gets close to his teammates in class and after school, in the orange groves, besides on the team. The last game of the season is against Lake Windsor Middle School.
One afternoon, in the Fisher back yard, Erik hits Tino in the head. The next day, Luis approaches Erik and tells Erik to hit him. Instead, Arthur hits Luis in the head from behind with a blackjack. Paul sees this happen, but no one involved in the altercation realizes that Paul is nearby.
The temperature in the area goes below freezing. The children of families that work in the orange groves stay up at night fighting the freeze. Then, they sleep in the daytime instead of attending school. This is an accepted practice in the area. Paul joins his friends in the groves, helping to protect the trees.
A few days after the freeze, Paul hears that Luis died in one of the orange groves. Some people think that Luis suffered the after-effects of being hit on the head by a tree branch while fighting the freeze. Paul suspects that what killed Luis was the blackjack, not a tree branch.
The day following Luis’ funeral there is a Senior Awards Night at Lake Windsor High School. During the ceremonies, Victor and Tino, attempting to get even, attack Erik and Arthur. Victor escapes and Paul helps Tino get away by tackling the coach, who is holding Tino. Then, Paul escapes. Later that night, Erik and Arthur try to terrorize Paul, but Paul sees them for what they are. Since observing Luis’ display of courage the night that Arthur hit him, Paul has a different attitude. That night Paul’s suppressed memory of a time in the past is unlocked. Paul questions his parents about the incident in the memory.
Paul is expelled from Tangerine Middle School for the remainder of the school year because he attacked the coach. Students at Tangerine Middle School consider Paul to be a hero. Paul will attend St. Anthony’s for the rest of the school year. Paul plans to return to Tangerine Middle School as soon as he can. And, he plans to play on the soccer team, the Tangerine Middle School War Eagles, when he gets back in the school.
Johnson, Jane. "TheBestNotes on Tangerine".
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