Books by Pat Schmatz

Bluefish Coming from Candlewick in Fall 2010


Travis Roberts secretly can't read. Velveeta Wojciehowski is creative, outrageous, loud and lonely. Travis is as diffident as Velveeta is chatty. He's the new kid, and Velveeta has been around forever. When they find each other, the same-old starts to look very different.

Recipient of the 2010 PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working writer Fellowship
PEN American Center

From the PEN judges:
"Bluefish hooks the reader from the first page with a voice that is fresh, captivating, and assured, and characters that compel us as often with their silences as with their words. Schmatz's language is imaginative and direct, with pitch-perfect turns of phrase. This is a story of ordinary lives that packs tremendous emotional wallop without a shred of sentimentality."


Mousetraps Mousetraps

I headed over to my locker, spun the combination, lifted the handle, and –


It was a snapped mousetrap. The old-fashioned wooden kind. A folded piece of paper lay in its grip. I reached in, lifted the trap's spring, and pulled the paper loose. My heart punched at my ribs like it was trying to get out.

I unfolded the paper. It was the picture I'd drawn of Rick.

Maxie's a cartoonist. Rick's a design genius. Back in grade school, they used to come up with crazy inventions, like mousetraps with a zillion parts. But high school is nothing like child's play. The traps Maxie and Rick encounter now are a lot more complicated – and a lot more dangerous…

Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in the
LGBT children/young adult category, 2008
Winner of the Tofte/Wright Children's Literature Award
from the Council for Wisconsin Writers, 2008

Mousetraps reviews

Circle the Truth Circle the Truth

First a spiral staircase replaces the regular stairs. The new stairs lead to a living room that isn't his, a cat that isn't his either, and a strange old man whose words are cryptic riddles.

Or are they? Rith's never been into religion. But he realizes those words have a spiritual source - and an uncanny ring of truth. Is he just dreaming? Is the old man God? As Rith tries to circle closer to the truth, the line between reality and unreality blurs…

This rhapsody on faith, acceptance, patience and the relationship between "truth" and "reality" is an unusual and valuable addition to the pantheon of literature for youth, particularly since faith is so seldom addressed with such neutrality in books for younger readers.
- Kirkus Reviews

Chosen by the WI Library Association as one of the Outstanding Books for Children by a Wisconsin Author in 2008.

Named in the 2008 Edition of The Best Children's Books of the Year from the Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College of Education

Where did the idea for Circle the Truth come from?

Mrs. Estronsky and the UFO Mrs. Estronsky and the UFO

Trust your own experience , Jackie," says Mrs. Estronsky.

"It's the only truth that you'll ever know."

Jackie Riley thinks that six months' worth of piano lessons is a terrible idea for a birthday present. But those lessons lead her to an extraordinary experience one October night when she and her piano teacher, Mrs. Estronsky, see something that will change them both forever.

Available on line at: Orchard House Press and

Was there ever really a UFO?