STARRED REVIEW
November 2012

Searching for a mother, finding herself

By Natalie Kinsey-Warnock
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Blue, all three pounds of her, was discovered in a copper kettle in December 1941 and adopted by the generous and caring Hannah Spooner. Now Blue is going into fifth grade and spends many of her waking hours wondering about her birth mother. Was she Amelia Earhart? A movie star? Why did she desert Blue?

Set in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont against the faint backdrop of the Korean War, True Colors is a gentle page-turner, filled with secrets, mystery and history. Blue’s farm life is simple, if difficult: There are weeds to be pulled and cows to be milked. Blue is in charge of delivering the breads from Hannah’s small bakery and listening to the stories each recipient tells.

Blue is on the verge of puberty, but her best friend, Nadine, seems to have already grown up. It’s a confusing time, made more confusing by other changes. Why is Nadine’s father absent this summer? Why are the farm animals disappearing?

Natalie Kinsey-Warnock envelopes the reader in the world of the early 1950s, where divorce is a terrible scandal, being in trouble means making difficult choices and family secrets are respected by the community as private.

Blue’s 10-year-old voice is especially effective here. She has a lot to think about, but she sees the world clearly through her young eyes. True Colors is a real keeper.

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True Colors

True Colors

By Natalie Kinsey-Warnock
Knopf Books for Young Readers
ISBN 9780375860997

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