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Mister Orangeby Truus Matti
Synopses & Reviews
The year: 1943. 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. Among his customers is a man who has come from Europe and is an artist, but Linus never quite catches his name, so he calls him Mr. Orange for the crate of fruit he delivers to him every other week. The book revolves around Linus' experience of the war through his brother's departure and the conversations he has with Mr. Orange about war, heroes, the future, and the freedom to create. Only at the end does Linus learn that the artist was Piet Mondrian. Linus thus discovers that the incredible influence Mr. Orange has had on him and the sense of possibility that he has given to him is also a gift he has given to others and to the future through his work.
Truus Matti is a Dutch editor and author. Her first book, Departure Time, was a 2011 Batchelder Honor Book, an ALA Notable Book of 2011, and received starred reviews in Kirkus Reviews and School Library Journal. Mr. Orange is her second book.
"Linus's older brother Albie has gone off to fight in WWII, and Linus, who lives in Manhattan, has inherited Albie's grocery delivery route and his love of comic books. On his grocery rounds, Linus meets Mister Orange, a forthright, unconventional artist who serves Linus as a provocative sounding board (he's modeled on Dutch painter Piet Mondrian, who lived in Manhattan during the war). Yet even open-minded Mister Orange presents Linus with a dilemma: what value does the artist's imagination have in the midst of a war? 'If imagination were as harmless as you think,' Mister Orange tells Linus, 'then the Nazis wouldn't be so scared of it.' Served well by Watkinson's graceful translation, Matti (Departure Time) draws an exceptionally sensitive portrait of introspective Linus and his understanding of what war is and what it does to its victims, as Albie's letters home grow increasingly sober. She avoids the temptation to pump up the story's action with gratuitous violence; the events of the book are low-key enough that the focus stays on Linus. It's a quiet novel, but a deeply touching one. Ages 11 — up." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A 1940s NYC boy talks with Mondrian, whom he knows only as Mr. Orange, when he delivers oranges each week.
A 1940s NYC boy talks with Mondrian, known only as Mr. Orange, about the war, the future, creativity, and color.
The year: 1943. The place: Manhattan. Linus Muller works at the family grocery store in the east 70s. When his oldest brother, Albie, leaves to fight in World War II, Linus takes over the grocery deliveries. One of his customers is an artist from somewhere in Europe who arranges to have a crate of oranges delivered every other week. Over the course of these deliveries, an intimacy develops between Linus and the man, whom he knows only by the name he gives him, Mister Orange. In the peacefulness of Mister Orange's spare kitchen, they discuss the war, the future, freedom and imagination. Through these conversations, Linus begins to grow up as he wrestles with the realities of war and the place of comic books, superheroes and the imagination in human life.
A New York City boy talks with Piet Mondrian (whom he knows only as "Mister Orange") about the war, the future, creativity, and color. The year: 1943. The place: Manhattan. Linus Muller works at the family grocery store. When his oldest brother, Albie, leaves to fight in World War II, Linus takes over the grocery deliveries. One of his customers is a European artist who orders a crate of oranges every other week. Through his conversations with this "Mister Orange", Linus learn about war, heroism, the future, and creative freedom. Only at the end of the story does Linus learn Mister Orange's true identity...
About the Author
As a child Truus Matti thought that everybody wanted to become a writer just like her. It made her wonder who would read all of the books that were written. Being a practical person, she decided it made more sense to read books than to write them, so she made reading her profession by becoming an editor. That kept her so busy she more or less forgot about wanting to write.
Later on, she decided to go to art school, where she drew and made movies. But then words began to find their way into her visual work until there were only words left. Having given herself a message, Truus decided it was time to write.
Mister Orange is Truuss second novel. Her first, Departure Time, was a 2011 Batchelder Honor Book and an ALA Notable Book of 2011.
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