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True Colors

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  135 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published November 13th 2012 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2012)
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Richie Partington
Jul 14, 2012 Richie Partington rated it it was amazing
Richie’s Picks: TRUE COLORS by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock, Knopf, November 2012, 242p., ISBN: 978-0-375-86099-7

“Don’t forget your family, they are what becomes you”
-- Joanne Rand, “Family History”

“Hannah and I covered the tomato and cucumber plants. As we worked, I saw Cat watching us.
“’She’ll be cold tonight,’ I said. ‘Maybe I could make her some sort of bed.’
“’She’ll be warm enough in the barn,’ Hannah said, but when she saw me biting my lip the way I always do when I’m worried, she smiled.
“’I’m s
Ms. Yingling
Jan 26, 2013 Ms. Yingling rated it liked it
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 ...more
Author: Natalie Kinsey-Warnock
Published By: Random House Children's Books
Age Recommended: 8+
Reviewer: Arlena Dean
Raven Rating: 5
Blog For GMTA


"True Colors" by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock was a very good novel for the young readers and I (adult) enjoyed it also. This author did a wonderful job with "True Colors." Be ready for a lot of secrets that will come out.

True Colors" was of a girl named Blue...she had been left wrapped in a quilt in a 'copper kettle that Hannah Spooner grew her marigolds
Apr 22, 2016 SimoneG rated it it was amazing
True Colors by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock, talks about what life would have been like on a farm in Vermont. Blue, an 11 year old girl and narrator of the story, has been raised by Hannah, an elderly yet strong woman, and Blue has lived on Hannah’s farm for almost her entire life. This book also shows how curious orphans, or kids similar to orphans, are about who their parents are. Blue doesn’t know who her parents are, more importantly her mother. Blue gives us a great description of what she thinks ...more
Jan 04, 2014 Becky rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014reviews
I definitely enjoyed reading Natalie Kinsey-Warnock's historical novel, True Colors. This novel is set in Vermont, in the summer of 1952. The heroine of True Colors is Blue Spooner. (She absolutely HATES her name. Why did Hannah have to name her Blue? why?! Then again, why does Hannah have to name their new stray cat, "Cat"?!) Blue was a newborn baby left on Hannah's doorstep. There wasn't a note, explanation, or clues, at least not that have been revealed to our young heroine. Blue spends her t ...more
Carol Royce Owen
Jun 28, 2013 Carol Royce Owen rated it really liked it
What a wonderful gift. Remember those Pay It Forward challenges on FB at the beginning of the year? This was the gift I received from one of the friends that I responded to. I can't wait, now, to share it with students. True Colors is a story of a girl looking for her past. Left in a kettle on Hannah's doorstep weighing all of 3 pounds, Blue is now 10 and searching for her identity. She has decided that, along with her summertime best friend, Nadine, and a quilt that was wrapped around her when ...more
As a baby, Blue was left in a copper tea-kettle on Hannah's porch 10 years ago. She doesn't know who her Mom is, but she is determined to find her.

This is a sweet little "growing-up" story. Blue is a 10 year old girl who doesn't like all the hard work she has to do with Hannah. She wants her real mom to come whisk her away to adventures. Blue grudgingly does her work and delivers Hannah's goods around the small Vermont town.

Everything is about to change. Her best friend, Nadine, who visits for
Lisa Nocita
10 year old Blue Spooner lives in rural Vermont. It is 1952 and summer finds Blue restless and anxious to make sense of her mysterious beginnings as she chafes against small town life. She envies the glamorous lifestyle she imagines for her best friend, Nadine, a long time summer resident. This summer nothing feels the same and Blue has more questions than answers. Blue desperately wants to figure out who her mother is and why she left her at Hannah's doorstep. Her search for the truth turns up ...more
Nov 14, 2012 Ngaire rated it liked it
This gentle tale of a formative summer in the life of 10 year old Blue Spooner focuses on Blue's growing need to find out who she really is. Found on Hannah Spooner's doorstep as a baby, Blue has never known her real mother, and sees the summer as an opportunity to investigate her origins. Juggling a job writing a column for the local paper with the demands of a working farm, Blue still hopes to find time for her best friend Nadine, arrived from the city for the summer. But Blue is not the only ...more
May 27, 2014 Krista rated it liked it
Set in Vermont's rural Northeast Kingdom during the Korean War, this novel has a strongly developed sense of place and community. It follows the story of Blue, an adopted child who is content with her life, but who yearns to learn more about her birth parents. During the summer of 1952, she works on the family farm, writes for the local newspaper, hangs out and schemes with her best friend Nadine, and prepares for the town's sesquicentennial celebration. While I enjoyed the story, I did find tha ...more
Jan 05, 2016 Stacey rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-school
Blue learns the real definition what makes a family after some trials in her journey. I really wonder where Blue's birth mom went and how she is. Themes: Family, community, bullying, compassion, jealousy/envy, anger, forgiveness, love and identity. There are some hints about baby born out of wedlock and car accident.
Aug 01, 2014 Erin rated it really liked it
I appreciated the voice of Blue in this coming of age story. I felt like the author did an excellent job of expressing honest emotions and showing characters as human and flawed but forgivable. I also liked the message of friendship. This is one I'll feel comfortable recommending to my daughters.
Karen Arendt
Blue's mother left her on a porch step when Blue was two days old. Hannah, an elderly woman, took her in and has raised her ever since. Blue, now almost 11 years old, spends the first half of the book thinking about she will find her mother someday. This may be a natural adolescent traint, I can't help but think how selfish Blue acts when Hannah has taken her in, raised her, loved her, and sacrificed for her. But, as the story progresses, the pace picks up and some additional conflicts arise: Na ...more
I liked this story--though some parts were a little predictable for me. However, my girls, who are more the age it is written for, didn't find it predictable and quite enjoyed this find-out-who-you-are-and-where-you-come-from story. It's one I would recommend to other kids!
May 27, 2013 Nancy rated it it was amazing
Blue doesn't know anything about her family. She was le--ft on a doorstep as an infant and Hannah has been taking care of her ever since. Hannah is a widow and it has always been just Blue and Hannah. But Blue dreams of finding her real mother and keeps looking. Blue doesn't have any real friends in this small Vermont town and looks forward to summers when a family from the city comes to spend the summer. Nadine and Blue spend the summers together and the two are best friends. But this summer is ...more
Feb 08, 2016 Rebecca rated it really liked it
sweet book with sweet storyline about appreciating the things that really matter
Jan 01, 2013 Lynn rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile-nf
Another unrealistic image of trying to find one' 'real' mother, even at the age of ten, did she not realize that California is not just a small simple place to go, like finding someone at the local pizza parlor? Wouldn't she have had a LOT more guilt about losing the college money? Could she really not have a clue that Raleigh was her father, and that no one would have let out this little secret? Perhaps that reflects the setting of 1941, when people did keep such secrets.
I did enjoy most of it,
Feb 03, 2014 Faye rated it liked it
I liked this one, but It reminded me of Three Times Lucky and I liked Lucky more.
Aug 29, 2013 Becky rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-review
I have met Natalie Kinsey-Warnock in person and I think very highly of her focus on family, community and personal histories so I am sure that is a huge influence when I read her books. True Colors is a historical fiction that young readers and adults can both enjoy. It would make a great read aloud. Extra "fun" for advanced readers is the vocabulary that is brought into the story through important characters. Of course, being set on a farm in Vermont adds extra appeal for me.
Elaina Griffith
Apr 13, 2014 Elaina Griffith rated it really liked it
Having lived for several years in the Northeast Kingdom of VT, I loved going home again through this story. Although we live in the 21st century, the people and places of rural Vermont still retain much of their unique character and way of life. As always, Natalie has evoked the timelessness of matters of the mind and heart in this lovely setting....
Feb 03, 2016 Alyson rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this one--see for more!
Blue is looking for her mom and feeling like she is the only one in her town who doesn't have a history. She comes to learn that her roots do go way down deep and her family has always been there in front of her; she just couldn't see them because she was looking in all the wrong places. Wonderful book, funny, tear jerking and well written all rolled into one!
Mar 17, 2014 Lora rated it it was amazing
My 10 year old said that this book should be 5 stars so that's what we're giving it. I LOVE the idea of learning history from you own family stories and starting that spark with personal history stories. A fun read for the 10 year old.
Mar 22, 2013 Karen rated it it was amazing
Yes, finally a book I can recommend to 5-7th graders and will love this book. The story tugs at your heart. The writing and story are so well done. A mix of mystery, friendship, growing up,mean guys and maturity.
Linda Jackson
Nov 23, 2012 Linda Jackson rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. But I must admit, I did not like the way it ended. However, I give it five stars just the same, because I loved everything else about it, especially the main character's wit.
Aug 04, 2013 Kate rated it really liked it
Loved, loved, loved this book. I originally borrowed it for my 10 year old daughter but read it on a car trip.
Oct 03, 2013 Quinn rated it liked it
Really predictable ending.... but I enjoyed it I guess...

A really fast read.
Lucy the Ghost
Lucy the Ghost marked it as to-read
Oct 22, 2016
CalpurniaVT rated it liked it
Oct 21, 2016
Margaret marked it as to-read
Oct 11, 2016
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My sister, three brothers, and I grew up on a Vermont dairy farm in a region known as the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, USA, where my Scottish ancestors settled almost two hundred years ago.

Our lives revolved around our church, our community, and the hard work of farming. Along with milking and feeding the animals each morning and evening, there was the work of each season: maple sugaring, plowing
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