Painting the Rainbow

by Amy Gordon
eBook | Pages: 176
Size: 5-1/2 X 8-1/4 | USD: $16.95
ISBN: 9780823431526
Publication Date: February 4, 2014
Age: 8-12 | Guided Reading Level: V
Themes: 20th Century, Family & Relationships, Friendship, Historical Fiction, World War II
Recommendations: A,C,K,PW,SLJ

About the Book

In this eloquent middle-grade novel, which takes place over the summer of 1965, thirteen-year-old Holly and her cousin Ivy accidentally discover family secrets no one has spoken of since World War II.

Holly and Ivy have always been close, but this summer at the annual month-long reunion at the Greenwood family lake house the girls seem to be growing apart. Although they spend hours together painting an old row boat the colors of the rainbow, they don’t talk about things that are important . . . until they begin to find letters and pictures relating to a Japanese boy named Kiyo. Uncovering the mystery of this ghostlike boy leads the girls to the many subjects no Greenwood adult will discuss, such as their Uncle Jesse’s death during the war.

In this insightful and expressive novel about complicated family dynamics, two girls show their elders that with honesty, courage, and empathy, even old wounds can be healed.

Read an Excerpt
Read an Excerpt

Painting the Rainbow

Author/Illustrator Q&A
Author/Illustrator Q&A

Amy Gordon

Read an exclusive interview withthe author from Knowledge Quest and the CBC!
Educator's Guide
Educator's Guide


Educators’ Guide featuring questions for classroom discussion and suggestions for further exploration.

“Gordon skillfully weaves in a lesson on war and politics, subtly revealing the many strong feelings and viewpoints that divide nations and families that are just as relevant today. Young readers looking for a mirror to their own evolving relationships and family dynamics will find just that in this contemplative and honest novel.”
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Gordon’s story will leave readers thinking about the politics and chaos of relationships and the effect war has on individuals.”
—Publishers Weekly