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A Corner of White: Book 1 of The Colors of Madeleine Hardcover – April 1, 2013

3.9 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 6-9-In this lovely fantasy, two stories run parallel. Fourteen-year-old Madeleine lives in Cambridge, England, where she is adjusting to life without her dad. Elliot lives in the Kingdom of Cello, where his search for his dad is postponed by the deplorable state of crops at home. If it were not for the tiny portal in a parking meter, Madeleine and Elliot would not have started writing letters back and forth. The story is told through the teens' communications and an omniscient narrator. This mix allows readers to know Madeleine and Elliot and their problems intimately, but it also gives them an aerial view of events, helps them meet the richly drawn secondary characters, and allows them to see the ingenious way in which the protagonists' lives ultimately combine. Attacks by "Colors," "living organisms: a kind of rogue subclass of the colors that we see when we look at a red apple or blue sky" keep the townspeople on edge, and Elliot wonders if his dad were killed during one of them. Mysteries abound. Is Madeleine's mom's strange behavior due to her inability to cope with poverty, or is something else going on? Why doesn't Madeleine's dad answer her letter, and is she somehow to blame for his absence? Ultimately, this is a story of two teenagers helping each other figure out their places in their respective worlds.-Jennifer Prince, Buncombe County Public Libraries, NCα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Australian writer Moriarty’s marvelously original fantasy is quirky and clever, exploring links between present-day Cambridge, England, and the Kingdom of Cello, where colors attack, seasons roam unpredictably, and the Butterfly Child can save a community. Fourteen-year-old homeschooled Madeleine lives with her mother in an attic flat in Cambridge, adjusting to near poverty after they ran from a fabulously wealthy jet-setting life with Madeleine’s emotionally distant father. Meanwhile, 15-year-old Elliot is trying to find his father, whose suspicious disappearance has sparked rumors and more in their farming community. Elliot and Madeleine meet when Elliot puts a letter into a crack in a concrete sculpture—Madeleine sees the corner of white peeking out from the foot of a parking meter. Their correspondence provides rich character development in a plot with a dizzying number of developments. Moriarty captures the proud iconoclasm of many homeschoolers and does not shy away from tenderness and poignancy as both Madeleine and Elliot confront difficult family truths. Expect readers to flock to Moriarty’s name and stay for the whole (projected) Colors of Madeleine trilogy. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Moriarty (The Year of Secret Assignments, 2004) is hugely popular and demand for her latest should be high. Grades 7-11, --Debbie Carton
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 800L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Colors of Madeleine (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books; 3.2.2013 edition (April 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545397367
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545397360
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #504,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I just started reading YA literature to expand my horizons and keep in tune with my pre-teenaged grandchildren and found "A Corner of White" to be a delightful book. The two worlds of Madeleine and Elliot, the differences and parallels and reaching across those worlds to help one another, were wonderfully crafted by the author. This engaging story would appeal to young and old alike. I can't wait to recommend this book to my grandchildren and to read Ms. Moriarty's next book
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Format: Hardcover
I was lucky enough to read a galley of this book last year, and the memories of reading it have stayed with me months later. Reading Jaclyn's writing is like eating good food: entirely satisfying and enjoyable. And, in Jaclyn's hands, an exciting experience on the senses! I LOVE the idea of the Colors. I love the letter-writing. I love the two worlds filled with unbelievably real, unusual characters. No, not everything is explained in Book 1. First of all, this is a trilogy, so we're bound to learn more later. And secondly, I personally love the mystery and suspense. Not to mention, it allows my own imagination to come into play. And imagination is something Jaclyn has in spades. In my mind, Jaclyn is a better creator and more capable of layering a plot than even J.K. Rowling herself.

Jaclyn has packed this book full of wit, humor, warmth, and completely unique ways of looking at the world and *creating* a world. This is, by far, my favorite book of 2013, in both adult and 'children's' literature. For anyone who is looking for something a bit different, a bit clever, a bit perfect, then I recommend this book tremendously.
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Format: Hardcover
A Corner of White is the newest book by best selling authorJaclyn Moriarty. I was drawn in by the publisher's review of the book that I read online. It talked of a book that is "rousing, funny, genre-busting" where the characters exchange messages across worlds -- through an accidental gap" and hinted at "even greater mysteries...unfolding on both sides of the gap". That was enough to entice me into reading the book, and I have to say, I'm glad that I gave it the time.

The two main characters in this book, Madeleine and Elliot, live in two separate worlds. Madeleine lives in Cambridge, UK, in our world. Elliot, however, lives in Bonfire, The Farms, in the Kingdom of Cello. Both characters are wrestling with family issues, and issues regarding their place in their worlds when they start communicating through a gap that exists between worlds. Sounds like a typical young adult fantasy book, right? Here is where the genre-busting part comes in, though. This book is as much a coming-of-age book as it is a fantasy book.

There was so much about this book that really drew me in as I read it. Not being familiar with Moriarty's work in general, I had no preconceived idea about what a character in her book is typically like. What I found, though, is that her characters were all kinds of things. They were quirky, like Jimmy the deputy who can solve missing person cases with an uncanny success rate, or Holly, Madeleine's mom who is hooked on a quiz show, but cannot answer a single question correctly. Some of the characters made me laugh, like Jack and his fascination with Byron the poet, some tugged at my heart-strings, like Elliot's cousin Corrie-Lynn. In fact, there were a number of top notch characters in this story.
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Format: Hardcover
Madeleine and her mother have run away from their old life--well, Madeleine ran away, her mother followed, and they just never went back. Now they're living in Cambridge and Madeleine's doing her best to adjust to things and not miss everything she used to have. Meanwhile, in the town of Bonfire in the Kingdom of Cello, Elliot is in search of his father. The whole town thinks that his dad killed his brother and ran away with the Physics teacher, but Elliot is sure this can't be what really happened and is determined to figure out the truth. As Madeleine and Elliot go about their lives, a crack--the first in centuries--opens between their worlds, and the two begin a very strange correspondence. At first, it's the companionship and their sometimes silly exchanges that spur them to unravel their own mysteries, but soon it becomes clear that there are greater things at stake: color storms, old forgotten friends, the Butterfly child, the lives of their loved ones, and a set of perplexingly missing persons.

I have been a devoted fan of Jaclyn Moriarty ever since I read and fell in love with The Year of Secret Assignments years ago, and while I have not absolutely loved every single of her books that I've ever read, I am always eager to pick up her new ones. I am so pleased to say that Moriarty's newest novel, A Corner of White, is most certainly one worth reading. Though it took me some time to truly get into the story, especially since there are so many different perspectives, I soon found myself thoroughly invested in the happenings of Madeleine's life in the real world and Elliot's life in Cello.
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