cover image True Colors

True Colors

Natalie Kinsey-Warnock. Knopf, $16.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-375-86099-7

On the day Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, a two-day-old newborn was left in a flowerpot outside a widow’s Vermont farm. Hannah Spooner named the baby for the color of her skin—blue at that moment—and raised her as her own. Ten years later, Blue narrates the myriad ways in which life disappoints her: endless chores, nagging questions about her parentage, and a loneliness so persistent she tells her troubles to an indifferent stray cat. Friends are so scarce that Blue looks forward to the return every summer of Nadine, a bratty city girl who treats Blue shabbily. The plot is wildly unbalanced: it takes a third of the novel to move beyond the workaday details of farm life; a rush of events overwhelms the last few chapters. Still, Kinsey-Warnock’s (Gifts from the Sea) story has its charms, and Blue’s eventual realization that it’s less important to know who abandoned her than it is to appreciate the woman who rescued her closes the narration on a loving note. A quiet country story for fans of Ruth White’s books. Ages 8–12. Agent: Gina Maccoby, Gina Maccoby Literary Agency. (Nov.)