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Reviewed by Tiffany Ferrell for Readers' Favorite
Josef Schneider is a young boy who loves art. Learning to paint and draw from his grandmother, he finds it a joy in his life. All of this sadly changes when she dies and World War Two begins. He and his brother are unlike many kids their age as they have a mother who is a full-blooded German and a father who is Jewish. When Hitler’s power rises and the war begins, Josef and his younger brother are ripped from their parents because of their father's lineage. They are sent to an elite school that specializes in shaping Aryan children and it is here that they find out their parents were murdered as traitors to the Third Reich. Josef had a hard time as he was not an athletic type and the rumor of his and his brother's parentage was talked about. Tomas, however, seemed to make friends easily, as was his nature. As time went on, Josef endured many hardships and cruel discipline from the teachers and staff who saw him as a boy who couldn’t learn. All Josef cared about, though, was painting. Luckily he finds friends in a fellow students Von and Oskar. In time, he begins to conform to the rules, toughening up, and standing up to the challenges other students pose for him.
I thought The Boy Who Saw In Colors was a beautifully written book. It’s definitely different from other books on Nazi Germany and World War Two that I have read previously. I was very intrigued that Josef and his brother being half Jewish were ripped away from their parents and taken to a boarding school named Inland to be raised as Aryans. It wasn’t something I suspected from any person with Jewish blood to have been allowed to do. I also found the characters well written and likable. Josef is a very complex and unique character whose pain you feel as he struggles to fit in at this Hitler youth school. The storyline is well-thought-out and it flows beautifully. Overall, I feel Lauren Robinson did a fabulous job and I can’t wait to read more of her works.