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The Color of My Words

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  1,480 ratings  ·  279 reviews
Américas Award Winner

“An achingly beautiful story.”—Kirkus (starred review) “Eloquent.”—Booklist (starred review) “Lovely and lyrical.”—School Library Journal

This powerful and resonant Américas Award-winning novel tells the story of a young girl’s struggle to find her place in the world and to become a writer in a country where words are feared.

Seamlessly interweaving both
Paperback, 160 pages
Published April 23rd 2019 by HarperCollins (first published 2000)
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The Color of My Words combines poetry and prose when sharing the story of twelve-year-old Ana Rosa growing up in the Dominican Republic. Each brief chapter begins with a poem written by the protagonist that draws from the content of the chapter in question. Sometimes Ana Rosa directly acknowledges writing the poems, which is an unique approach to form for middle grade fiction.

“I was wrong. It’s people who can do anything.” Guario sounded worn out. “Words are just the inventions of people, and th
J-Lynn Van Pelt
This is a beautiful story told through poems by a 12 year old narrator who lives in the Dominican Republic. She watches as her happy existence and home are brought into the middle of a battle for worker's rights with her beloved brother as the leader. Through tragedy and triumph the girl learns what it means to live and to follow her passion to write in a country where there is no freedom of the press. This short book tells a big story and I highly recommend it.

Possible themes to teach: oppressi
Jan 08, 2009 rated it liked it
The book I am reviewing is The Color of my Words by Lynn Joseph. The Color of my Words is about a 12 year old girl Ana Rosa Hernandez that loves to express her feeling on paper. Any paper she would see she would write on it like, napkins and even paper bags est. But in the República Dominicana the only person that could write books was the President and that was some thing that she wanted to do. Ana Rosa explained to her mother how she wanted to write poems and stories. “Ana Rosa,” there always ...more
Oct 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book is an old favorite of mine. It tells a universal story within an individual one. The story helps us realize the power we hold behind our words. They are so strong, they have the ability to take a life. You also learn that our aspirations have a power all their own, if you allow them to be made known. The characters are real, each having a trait that reflects the real world (ex. a drunkard, an adultress, ect.). The details are spectacular and the descriptions fantastic. I feel as though ...more
L- Lisa
Feb 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Ana Rosa’s beautiful poetry starts each chapter of this novel, as she dreams of becoming a writer in the Dominican Republic at the age of 12. Because only the president of the country writes, her dream is always challenged. She steals paper for her craft, recording everything she sees. This is a coming of age story as the heroine recounts events in her life, introducing her family, her close relationship with her older brother Guario, her first crush and the meringue filled days of her home.

Mar 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I began reading this book expecting very little. My type of book is typically thicker than my head and bursting with action, blood, complex characters whose motivations are fit to argue about, and the occasional zombie or dragon. Despite its initial off-putting appearance, I quickly fell in love with this book.

The rich character development was the best I have ever experienced in such a short novel. The author's ability to weave poetry into the narrative perfectly complemented the unfolding plot
Oct 05, 2018 rated it liked it
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Ciara Ryan
Nov 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Color if My Words is a great heart touching book! The way Lynn Joseph really put a lot of thought in to this book really paid off! The description of the characters, setting, and generally what's happening in the story is all things that this author did well! Even though this could be a sad book, I greatly recommend this book to anyone! I rate this book 5 stars! Really great book! Thank you Mrs. Barrett! ...more
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was one of the best books I've ever read!:) ...more
Khagendra B
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
The color of my words

I read the book called the Color of my words. This book talk about teenagers who want to be writer. And how the life looks like in Dominican Republic . little bit about dancing. The tree keep coming again and again because it was her favorite tree and she saw the monster from the tree.

Pros the main plot of the story where Ana rose became writer. I’ve never read a story like this before. other people gave her a paper to write story. it inspiring me to do good things that win
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Why are middle grade books so depressing?!
Sep 18, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Vamos a Leer
Aug 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Each month as I sit down to write the review for our featured book, I find myself stuck. I’ve run out of different ways to say “I love this book.” I’m certainly not complaining. As educators, I think we’re quite lucky to have access to so much amazing literature that also provides a way for us to teach about Latin America. This month’s book was no different—I loved it. Oddly enough, I’ve found that the more I love a book, the harder it is for me to convey my thoughts and feelings in a review. I ...more
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
The color of my words by Lynn Joseph is about a girl named Ana Rosa that loves writing that lives on a little island, but her dream was to write, but Ana Rosa and her family confront many issues. I liked this book because It is interesting and it really gets into my feelings because this book made me laugh and in some part of the book was so sad. My favorite part of the book was when they give Ana Rosa the present from her birthday. I would recommend this book to others because it's an awesome b ...more
Jenny Vasquez
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
The book The Color Of My Words by Lynn Joseph is about a girl who is 12 years old who likes to write about stuff that happens on her island . And is sad because she get to know that she doesn't have a dad. I did not like this book because it was sad that the guardia killed Ana Rosa's brother named Guario. My favorite part of the book was when Ana Rosa and Guario helped each other and when Guario told her that he was going buy her notebooks so she can keep writing her poems. I could not recommend ...more
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The color of my words by Lynn Joseph is about a girl who likes to write poems on a tree. She calls the tree gri gri and every day she goes up to the tree to write poems also several events that happen on the island. I liked this book because the girl likes to write poems. My favorite part of the book was when Ana Rosa goes with her dad to dance on the beach. I recommend this book to others if they like poems this is a nice book. The type of reader who really enjoy this would be writers because t ...more
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The color of my words, is by Linn josep.
this book is about a girl who like to write history abut her future and thinks abut her gri gri gri tree.
i liked this book because everything that happens in the book happens in real life, my favorite part of the book was when Ana Rosa tells everyone that she is a writer.
i would recommend this book to others kids because you can learn something abut Republica Dominicana. the type of reader who would really enjoy this book would be people learning English b
Dec 10, 2018 rated it liked it
The Color of My Worlds by Lynn Joseph is about a girl who likes to write. Her brother wants a future,but he dies in the birthday of his sister by a guardia. I did not like this book because is sad. My favorite par of book was when the people of the island fight whit the guardias to protect their land. I would not recommend this book to other have a bad ending. The type of readers who would really enjoy this book would be people who are learning English because have some words in Spanish .
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book the color of my words by lynn joseph is about one girl in republica dominicana, she like writting and she wanna be a writer, she write in a tree,she called the gri gri tree, I dont like this book because she have a brother in this book that get shot by a police, that part is so sad. My favorite part of the book was when his brother give her a notebook to write. I would recommed this book because is interesting.
lucy  Ü
Oct 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
if you love words as much as i do, then you'll fall head over heels for this incredible book.

talks all about the power that words and books hold - and how we can take that for granted at times.
A+ ..... outstanding .... incredible ....
in love
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Every chapter begins with a poem by the main character Ana. These poems are a clue to the events of the chapter. As the chapters go on we see the dynamic between Ana and mom, dad, and brother unfold. There are some very sorrowful events in Ana's life and it is through her writing that she reflects and deals with tragedy, unrequited love, finding herself.
This book could be a great source of inspiration for a young person trying to finding their passion/calling.
Aug 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick read that I read with my daughter. A beautiful (and sad) story about family, growing up, love, and loss. I look forward to discussing with my daughter (she finished it first). I loved the poetry also in the story. A quick read with lots of lessons.
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A breath of fresh air. I read this book during my commute and for a moment, it felt like I was in the Caribbean myself. 10/10!
Alexza Beltre
Jun 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really like this book because it shows how a girl named ana rosa develops, fighting for her dreams and better future. on page 18 ana rosa loves to hear her big brother which named is guario, telling her that she can reach her dreams if she wants to. on page 32 ana rosa, shows her capacity of writing a article and reading it in front of the whole town when the rest of the people dont know. i think that the people are dreamers that cant reach his dreams, but have hope that can, will like this bo ...more
NS - Cami Houston
Nov 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
6-8th grade, What 12-year-old Ana Rosa Hèrnandez wants more than anything is a notepad of her very own. Writing is her passion, and words flow out of her pencil onto the paper bags that Papi brings his rum home in, onto napkins, onto gray shop paper. In the República Dominicana, however, only the President can write books. But as Mami sighs and says, "Ana Rosa, there always has to be a first person to do something." These supportive words are difficult for her mother to muster, as everyone on th ...more
(C) Archer at KIPP
Feb 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: who like to read about how to be a real writer
Recommended to (C) Archer by: Eddie Lopez
Shelves: boys-have-read
The book The Colors of my Words is you meet Ana Rosa the main characther,who lives in a beatiful place. Where there are rules and that goes against Ana Rosa characther. she lives in place where you as the person living in that place can't write, but only the president. This a big risk for her and her family that they will take. Ana Rosa wants to write and when she writes believe me she totally puors out her heart. She is a great writer that makes you be part of the book by describing how they l ...more
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Color Of My Words by Lynn Joseph is a phenomenal book. It's about a 12-year-old girl named Anna Rosa who is an inspiring writer while growing up in the Dominican Republic. In the Dominican Republic is where words are feared to be said or heard. But still there's inspiration all around her. For example watching her brother find a future in the Dominican,and learning how to dance from her father and how to love. Also Ana Rosa is trying to find out what it means to be part of the community. In ...more
Feb 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
Read this in honor of my trip to the DR. I'd give it a solid "meh". You can finish this sucker in no time flat because it's a "children's book". I put that in quotes because it deals with alcoholism, illegitmate children (and prosituting indirectly) and a hostile protest against a government. I realize that these are real things that happen in real life, but not sure it has a place in a kids book.

I didn't realize there was a hostel take over of land to build resorts, but not surprised. I guess
Apr 23, 2014 rated it liked it
I think that this book was interesting because there were unexpected events throughout the story. The main problems that Ana faced in the story were that she wanted the people around her to hear her writing but is not allowed to. Also, her home was being invaded by the government and her older brother dies in the end while trying to protect his family. I think that Ana looked up to her older brother as a role model because he was trying the search for his future and live his life.
Fred Pollock
Oct 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
The Color of My Words is a great book for young readers and writers. There is much to write about in Ana Rosa's young life - her,gri gri tree, family, the beach, and even a surprise visitor in the sea. I also enjoyed learning about a new culture (The Dominican Republic)and the obstacles Ana Rosa and her family experience throughout the book. GK ...more
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