True Colors

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True Colors
Age Range
10+
Release Date
November 13, 2012
ISBN
9780375860997
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Natalie Kinsey-Warnock's beautifully told, warm hearted novel tells the story of one girl's journey to find the mother she never had, set against the period backdrop of a small farming town in 1950s Vermont. For her entire life, 10-year-old Blue has never known her mother. On a cold, wintry day in December of 1941, she was found wrapped in a quilt, stuffed in a kettle near the home of Hannah Spooner, an older townswoman known for her generosity and caring. Life with Hannah so far has been simple—mornings spent milking cows, afternoons spent gardening and plowing the fields on their farm. But Blue finds it hard not to daydream about her mother, and over the course of one summer, she resolves to finally find out who she is. That means searching through the back issues of the local newspaper, questioning the local townspeople, and searching for clues wherever she can find them. Her search leads her down a road of self-discovery that will change her life forever.

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Overall rating 
 
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Home is where the heart is

Blue was found by Hannah on the day Pearl Harbor was bombed, wrapped in a quilt and stuffed in a kettle near Hannah's rural Vermont house.Blue is happy with her small town life- she has her haunts, like the newspaper office, and her friends, like the mentally challenged Raleigh and Mr. Gilpin, the newspaper editor. She even has a summer friend her own age, Nadine. Nadine comes to visit every summer, but this summer she is different. No longer interested in playing outside, Nadine prefers to talk about movie stars and hair styles, and indicates that Blue's life is really rather backwards. True is too busy to worry too much about what Nadine thinks-- she's writing the weekly gossip column for the newspaper, saving her cow from being slaughtered, trying to keep local bullies from giving Raleigh a hard time, and helping with preparations for the town's 150th anniversary. She is also intrigued about her mother and accompanies Hannah to her quilting group in hopes of finding clues to her identity. Hannah falls and is badly injured, and many events collide at the town's celebration. Can Hannah handle all of the things that are happening around her as well as uncomfortable information about her past?



Good Points
This was similar in some ways to The Moon Over Manifest, but I liked it better than that one. (Newspaper writing, family mystery, town goings on.) There is a very distinct feeling of time and place, but this adds to, rather than detracting from, Blue's search for identity.

There are not many books that are set right after World War II, when so many things in society started to change. Blue's voyage of self discovery takes place at a time when people were just starting to believe that they could ask questions about the past and didn't have to cover up every indiscretion. The cover strikes me as being fresh and modern but also paying homage to illustrations in picture books from the 1950s. A nice touch.
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