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Mister Orange: 03/08/16

Mister Orange by Truus Matti

Mister Orange by Truus Matti is the story of Linus Muller and his most interesting customer. Linus and his family run a small green grocers in Manhattan. It's 1945, Linus is now old enough to start making deliveries while is brother is over sees in the last days of the war, and after a bad day of mixing up Roma tomatoes and heritage tomatoes, he meets a man who always orders a crate of oranges.

As the man is old and frail, Linus agrees to take the crate all the way upstairs for him. There his senses are overwhelmed with bright colors painted on the surfaces of different colors, well beyond the standard white Linus is so used to.

The book despite the time period (WWII) and the main character, a boy in an economically challenged family struggling to keep their shop float during rationing, is a relatively quiet story. It's an expression of the human spirit — of old and new generations learning from each other.

The American cover gives away the identity of this strange old man well before the narrative does, which is a pity. Of course, tweens who haven't studied art history, won't get the visual spoiler but might still want to get to know more about Mondrian.

Four stars

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