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Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 01/01/2014 Moriarty’s The Colors of Madeleine series continues its odd, charming blend of fantasy, quirky humor, attractive geeky teens, and genuine compassion for those who have lost their health, family, or identity. This sequel to A Corner of White (2013) introduces many fascinating new characters but remains focused on Elliot Baranski, a farm boy in the Kingdom of Cello who has been risking his life to correspond with Madeleine Tully, a homeschooled Cambridge teen who lives with (and looks after) her confused and childlike mother. Our world and Cello further intertwine when Cello’s Princess Ko selects Elliot to be part of the Royal Youth Alliance, a group of three clever, talented teens whose covert task is to assist the princess in finding the rest of the royal family—the king, the queen, and all her siblings have mysteriously disappeared. Elliot, however, would much rather find his own father, missing and presumed dead. Moriarty’s magical kingdom boasts a rich and creative history, and her matter-of-fact and logically detailed narrative tone will appeal to Harry Potter fans. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 02/01/2014 Book Two of the Colors of Madeleine series (following A Corner of White, BCCB 5/13) opens with the revelation of the whereabouts of the lost members of the royal family of Cello; each is leading a quietly despairing life in a separate city, utterly unaware of their real identity and past life. Back in the realm of Cello, Princess Ko has assembled a small group of young Cellians, including Elliot Baranski, protagonist of the previous book, to help her recover her family from the World, a project she must carry out in secret since congress between the worlds is a capital offense. Elliot, meanwhile, is hopeful when a pair of whip-smart agents has been assigned to rescue his father from the Hostiles, but less hopeful that he can complete his assigned task of stretching the tiny crack between the worlds he uses to communicate with Madeleine, his Cambridge-dwelling contact. While the first book focused more on developing the delightfully eccentric world of Cello, this book is more plot-driven, with the fascinating color storms only coming in at the most suspenseful times. Though this outing isn’t quite as stylish as the first book, Moriarty still provides more frissons of delight than many other authors, and the different parts of the Cellian Kingdom take on a kind of exaggerated, offset resemblance to England’s varied landscapes, from the fields and green spaces of the Farms, to the high-tech wonderland of Jagged Edge, to the curiously old-fashioned landscapes of Olde Quainte. Alarming plot twists and welcome surprises greet readers at every turn, and enough ends are left dangling to engender anticipation for the next installment. KC - Copyright 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 03/01/2014 Gr 7 Up—In this lively follow-up to A Corner of White (Scholastic, 2013), Moriarty chronicles the ever-intertwining lives of Cambridge resident Madeline Tully and her secret correspondent Elliot Baranski, a quick-witted farm boy from the Kingdom of Cello. After discovering a crack between their parallel worlds, the teens have been exchanging letters through the gap, venturing on a tentative friendship that may be growing into something more. The stakes are higher in this second installment, with Elliot recruited to help save the missing royalty of Cello, who were pushed into Madeline's world in an attempt to destabilize the monarchy. Mixed in with the regal intrigue is a complex, moving look at families, friendship, and loss. The blossoming relationship between the pen pals, told in letters and through omniscient narration, is but one of the many charms this novel has to offer. Madeline's emotional growth enriches her interactions with her friends and teachers in Cambridge, who fans will remember fondly from the first book. Elliot's mission introduces the Royal Youth Alliance (RYA), an intriguing group of Cellian young people working (some reluctantly) toward a common goal. The RYA's work around Cello expands an already complex and intricately drawn world. Readers will be clamoring for the next title after the thrilling yet satisfying conclusion.—Elisabeth Gattullo Marrocolla, Darien Library, CT - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.