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Mister Orange

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3.7  ·  Rating details ·  238 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
The year: 1945. The place: Manhattan. Mr. Orange is told from the perspective of Linus Muller, the third of six children, whose parents own a grocery store. Linus' oldest brother Albie volunteers to fight in World War II, and it's his departure that sets the story in motion. When Albie leaves, Linus takes on new responsibilities, including grocery deliveries to customers. ...more
Hardcover, 156 pages
Published January 29th 2013 by Enchanted Lion Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Alex (not a dude) Baugh
Racing along New York City streets one March 1945 day, Linus Muller stops to catch his breath when his attention is suddenly arrested by a familiar face on a poster. Noting the address on the poster, Linus changes course and sets off for it instead.

Flashback to September 1943: Linus is 12 years old and has just inherited his older brother's shoes and his job delivering groceries for his parent's shop. In fact, with six kids and a war on, everything is a hand me down, except for Linus's older bro
...more
Margo Tanenbaum
Few foreign books for children wind up translated into English, perhaps not surprisingly given the plethora of titles published each year by American and English-speaking authors from Canada, England, Australia, and other countries. Often the ones that do make it for release in the U.S. are special titles, and that's the case with the new historical novel Mister Orange by Dutch author Truus Matti. This title is especially unusual because, although written originally in Dutch and first published ...more
Edward Sullivan
A delightful historical novel set in New York City during World War II that sensitively portrays a young boy's discovery of the power of art and family life on the American home front. A Dutch translation, winner of the 2014 Mildred L. Batchelder Award.
Betsy
One Sentence Review: Just the most charming little book, and I can attest that as a New Yorker Ms. Matti gets all the details of the city right (you'd never known the book was a translation).
Jenny Staller
Meh. Not bad, but also not memorable. This novel is short enough to read in an hour or two, but I didn't end up invested in any of the characters. Perhaps that had to do with the translation, but overall I felt like it was too generic for me to really care what was going on. By far the most interesting character was the artist, "Mr. Orange" himself, but the scenes with him were brief and rather few. I could see myself recommending this to readers looking for something short, or those who are obs ...more
Katie Robards
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Linus Muller works at a family grocery store in Manhattan. He was just told that his brother was needed to fight in World Word II. Linus has to pick up the extra work from his brother leaving so he takes over grocery deliveries. This is where he meets a costumer by the name Mister Orange. Mister Orange is an artist from Europe. Linus and Mister Orange become friends and start carrying on conversations over the course of time. These conversations are from talking about the war to freedom. These c ...more
Barb Middleton
Apr 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, wwii
Growing up I couldn't understand my dad's insistence that the walls of our house be white. Now I realize that as an architect he was influenced by the minimalist Bauhaus style. His company followed the Bauhaus movement that believed all arts should work together with design. My dad loves the Bauhaus bent toward clean lines, simplicity, and few decorations. He also had a few abstract paintings hanging on walls that usually had a design element I could not understand or see. I grew up seeing artis ...more
Courtnei
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure what I was expecting, I checked this book out for a class I'm currently taking for my MLIS and honestly forgot what it was about. It was a short, but moving story set at the height of WWII. It gave a good peak into what it was like to be home while others were away. And of course it teachers readers that in order to win any battle you have to first imagine that it's possible.
Wsclai
Sep 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful story about how a war affects a family and the friendship developed between the protagonist and 'Mr Orange'. The book has everything I should like, e.g. Piet Mondriaan and his neo-plastic works, WWII and relationships but it just doesn't click. I don't know if it is the translation or what. I wish that I liked it better.
Philip Williams
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
1943, New York City, and the World at War. From the perspective of the young Linus, the war reaches everyone but Linus finds a companion in Mr Orange. Against the brutality of war, friendship and hope glow even more brightly. I loved this book.
Pamela
Aug 25, 2017 rated it liked it
3.75
Marisol Herrera
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Plot Summary:

Translated from Dutch, this book is about a young delivery boy who takes over a grocery delivery route after his eldest brother, Albie, leaves to fight in World War II. Through letters from Albie and his interactions with artist Mister Orange, Linus Muller learns the devastating effects war has on families and victims as well as the importance of having an optimistic view of the future.

Critical Analysis:

Mister Orange is an enjoyable coming-of-age story in where the protagonist quic
...more
Maureen Milton
This novel, set in New York City, opens and closes in March 1945 with Linus, in his new shoes, distracted enough by a familiar image in a poster to attend the art show it advertises. The narrative then moves to September 1943 where we learn that Linus's older brother, Albie, is off to war in new boots, leaving a cascade of hand-me-down shoes for his younger siblings to grow into. Linus, who promises to mind Albie's comic books while he fulfills his superhero-like soldier role, develops a superhe ...more
Emily
5th grade booktalk
Set in New York in 1945, Linus and his family discover how hard it is to let a member of your family go off to war. Linus has to watch as his older brother, Albie, chooses to join the war rather than wait to be drafted. When Albie leaves, each of his brothers inherits not only the older sibling’s shoes, but also their job. This means that Linus is now the delivery boy for his family’s grocery store – and guardian of Albie’s comic books and notebooks of his own comic creation, M
...more
Mandy
Mar 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is for student 8-12. This book would be for intermediate readers. It is a good book about what happens during the war and what it was like in the states. The book was about a boy who has a big family and owns a grocery store. The boys brother goes in the war and everyone responsibility changes. The main character Linus be friends a customer that he delivers oranges to. He cannot pronounce his name so he calls him Mr. Orange.
This book has a few parts that remind me of growing up. One p
...more
American Mensa
Jul 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this novel, Truus Matti explores the history of World War II and the life and artwork of Piet Mondrian. Through these aspects, he is able to create a novel about the life of a young boy and his outlook on the world.

Throughout this coming-of-age story, the reader explores the world of Linus Muller, a young boy whose brother was recently shipped off to fight the Nazi's. With his big brother leaving to fight, Linus is forced to fill his shoes. As Linus begins to take on his roles, he meets a man
...more
Nicholas Ethridge
Set in 1945, Linus and his family discover how hard it is to let a member of your family go off to war. Linus has to watch as his older brother, Albie, leaves for war and see what it does to his family. When Albie leaves, each sibling inherits not only the older siblings shoes, but also their job. This means that Linus is now the delivery boy for the grocery store his family owns. It’s during these deliveries that Linus meets Mister Orange, a man whose name no one really knows. Mister Orange rec ...more
Samantha
Linus is a young boy growing up in New York City during WWII. After his older brother, Albie, leaves to fight in the war, Linus has to step up as the new delivery boy for the family’s grocery store business. During his deliveries Linus meets an artist that he refers to as Mister Orange. Linus is intrigued by Mister Orange’s art, but after he learns some tragic news from his brother’s letters, he begins to wonder how anything done at home will help his brother fight. Originally written in Dutch M ...more
Ellen

Linus Muller lives in New York City in 1943 with his large family over their grocery store. The eldest Muller son, Albert, enlisted in the Army and has been sent to Italy and the family waits anxiously every day for "Albie's" letters. Linus has the chore of making deliveries throughout the city dragging the heavy grocery cart behind him. One of his regular customers is an elderly gentleman who receives a case of oranges every week. Linus cannot remember the man's name, thus he becomes known as "
...more
Barbara
There is much to like about this fictionalized account of the New York City sojourn of artist Piet Mondrian who fled his homeland for his art. Interested in painting in a different style than his predecessors, he played with shape, color, and rhythm. Although the book deals with this unique artist's take on the power of art and music to change lives, influence others, and express emotions, it also traces the coming of age of Linus Muller whose beloved older brother, Albie, volunteers for the arm ...more
Anna Martino
Mar 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, five-star-reads
I really loved this book. I would put on a boogie woogie compilation or an Andrews Sisters based playlist on Rdio and sit and read this wonderful story by Truus Matti. It is a tale of a boy, who's older brother goes to Europe to fight the Nazis, and is finding his own place now that he has become one of the older kids in the house. As he takes over the job of delivering groceries for his father's store, he meets an artist, who he calls Mr. Orange. Mr. Orange is a little sparkle in an otherwise d ...more
Jeannene Egan
Bloom’s Taxonomy Questions for Mister Orange by Truus Matti

1. Knowledge
- List the names of the siblings in Linus’ family.
2. Comprehension
- Describe the scene at the train station when Albie is leaving for war.
3. Application
-Sketch what you think Albie’s comic character Mister Superspeed looks like.
4. Analysis
-Select your favorite part of the book and tell about it in your own words.
5. Synthesis
-Compare the quote at the beginning of chapter 3, “Why don’t smells have names?” to the rest of the ch
...more
Hanneke
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastisch boek! Fictie en non-fictie vermengd in een prachtig verhaal dat je in 1 ruk wilt uitlezen. Om vervolgens naar het Gemeentemuseum in Den Haag te gaan.
Het verhaal speelt af in New York ten tijde van van WOII. De broer van hoofdpersoon Linus wordt uitgezonden naar Europa. Dit heeft z'n impact op het leven van zijn hele familie, ze smachten naar brieven uit Europa. Linus moet z'n broers werk als loopjongen overnemen en dan leert hij Piet Mondriaan kennen. Dan gaat er een heel andere were
...more
Stacy Countee
A young boy discovers the power of art during wartime. Linus inherits the job of delivering groceries for the family store after his oldest brother Albie leaves for the war. He brings a crate of oranges every other week to a man he calls "Mister Orange." Linus eventually gets introduced to the colors of the future by the famous Dutch artist "Mr. Orange" who moved from Europe to New York. Linus begins to wonder if his paintings have a purpose for the dying soldiers. This book focuses on an unlike ...more
Pranaav Kumar
Mar 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In the year of 1943 in Manhattan Linus Muller worked at the family grocery store. When his older brother Albie had to leave to fight in World War II. Linus takes his grocery deliveries to deliver to people but one of his customers was an artist from Europe he has a crate of oranges that he has to deliver every other week. While he was delivering he had some conflicts with the man who he knows as Mister Orange they both talk about the war and what can happen in the future and if they can have fre ...more
Miriam
Feb 01, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The winner of the 2013 Batchelder Award for translation is a much stiffer affair than I'd anticipated. I appreciate the insights into Piet Mondrian's philosophy as translated into his paintings and construction of furniture using reclaimed or found materials and I thought Matti used her protagonist, Linus, effectively in illustrating how Mondrian's ideas opened up new ways of looking at color, architecture, music and cityscapes. The rest of the plot, with Linus' family worrying about his brother ...more
Penny Peck
Feb 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-ya
In this Batchelder Award winning short novel, Linus has taken over the grocery delivery job because his big brother Albert is in Europe fighting during WWII. One of his customers is called Mr. Orange because Linus delivers a case of oranges each week to this artist from Europe - he is Piet Mondrian. Set in NYC, this Dutch import seems very authentic, with an engaging main character/narrator and an emotionally resonant story. Teachers could find this useful as a class readaloud, and readers might ...more
Zoe
Jul 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From the first couple of pages I was hooked! One of the best openings I've read in a while, and then a moving story about the power of imagination, which has made me completely rethink something I thought was worn dry; Mondrian art works are so parodied they are almost wallpaper it seems to me, but this book got me really excited about Mondrian's art (a HUGE surprise!), and like on the best books can, gave me a new way to look at the world.

The translation is excellent, and the cover artwork and
...more
Cassidy
Apr 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Multicultural Intermediate Book:
This was a great read. I really love learning about World War II, and I've never read a WWII story like this one. It's text-to-text connection for me was to My Brother Sam Is Dead, another children's book about a child who realizes just how real war really is. I connected with this personally because of my interest in World War II, so this was a great read for me. I think a text-to-world connection is that this book hits many subjects kids need to think about: his
...more
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