Posted in 2014-2015 Club, Not Mock Newbery

Painting the Rainbow, by Amy Gordon

Painting the RainbowSummary:  Over the summer of 1965, thirteen-year-old Holly and her cousin Ivy accidentally discover family secrets no one has spoken of since World War II.

Holiday House



2 thoughts on “Painting the Rainbow, by Amy Gordon

  1. I found Painting the Rainbow to be a very gripping and heartfelt story that taught me a lot and made me think deeply over many topics.
    The book is a historical fiction set in 1965 but it generally teaches more about world war one and world war two in 1914 through 1945 which includes the bombing of pearl harbor and the relocating of the Japanese into “relocation” centers. Slowly, throughout this book, you find out the history of Ivy and Holly’s family and stories on the wars by way of inscriptions on trees, letters, diaries, and broken down boats, (Both murderous motor boats and gentle rainbow rowboats).
    Because of this topic and the way the writer taught about it, the book had a very nostalgic feel to it which thoroughly captured me and made the tone and theme incredibly clear. The writing style did a very good job creating the right sort of mysterious and melancholy tone that the book required. I found it interesting how every story that took place in present time was subtly linked to one that happened in the past. When an author can do that, it always makes a plot and theme more powerful.
    And I did think that the theme was one of the best parts to this book. Basically I found it to be about how there can be peace despite differences. Throughout the novel, both past and present, there are so many woven in instances of fights, numerous different kinds. There were fights between countries, schools, brothers, friends, and races (Specifically the Japanese and Caucasian) . The theme is so complete in this book that you can pretty much look at any sentence in the story and find it somehow linked to the creating of the “Peace” theme.
    The setting was almost the most important part and was just as well thought out as the rest of the story. At the beginning it was actually the thing that captured me most. Who doesn’t want to read a story about an old but beautiful lake house with woods, mountains, and (obviously) lakes, and filled with rich history involving mysterious and uneasy events? I did, and found it to be just as interesting as it sounded and so very realistic it almost seemed like a place I too had been long ago.
    The characters were all very unique and once you got over there initial whininess, anger, and frustration and got to understand the reason they felt like they do and why they act that way, you realize how real and relatable these people were.
    I feel that this memorable and touching story is well deserving of notice and perhaps also the Newbery award. Even if you are just looking for a book to get stories on the world wars, then definitely read this one- I found it to be the best I’ve read concerning the time period.

  2. -Kayla
    I loved Painting the Rainbow and I think it will probably be one of the best books I’ve ever read. I love how this book is mysterious and how you gradually learn more about Holly and Ivy’s, Uncle Jesse. The setting is easy for me to picture in my head, but the best part about this book was the plot. The theme of this book was peace and the truth. I like the choice of adding World War 2 in this book. This book also teaches you about how they kept the Japanese in camps. I could never put down this book!!

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