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Review of Mystery Of The Colour Thief by Ewa Jozefkowicz

by - May 15, 2018

Genres: Middle Grade, Contemporary
Pages: 192
Publisher: Zephyr
Release Date: 03/05/2018
Find The Author: (Website / Twitter)
Find The Book: Book Depository / AbeBooks UK / US
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(Received free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)

First the accident, then the nightmares. The shadowy thief steals all the colours from Izzy's world leaving her feeling empty and hopeless. Will her new neighbour and a nest full of cygnets save Izzy and solve the mystery of the colour thief? A heartwarming story about families, friendships,school, nature, hope and self-confidence. 

After a frightening car accident, Izzy's mum is in a coma. Her family is in pieces. Her best friend at school has dumped her. And her nightmares are haunted by a shadowy man stealing all the colours from her world. She's trying so hard to be brave, but Izzy thinks everything is her fault. Then she meets her new neighbour, Toby, paralyzed after a skateboarding accident, and together they find a nest of cygnets who need rescuing. Particularly the odd one out, called Spike. Will saving Spike save Izzy? Will she and Toby solve the mystery of the colour thief and bring hope and happiness back to Izzy's life? 

I read a book quite similar to this one this year, The Amazing Colour Of After. Like After, this deals with themes of birds, colour, growing up and loss, although in this book Izzy's mother hasn't passed away, she's in a coma. While this is a much shorter book, I did feel that this handled those themes better, and I connected to Izzy way more than I did Leigh in After. 

 I didn't like Izzy's family in this book. When Izzy's mum is in coma, her Dad shuts himself off leaving her overbearing aunt to look after Izzy. I went through similar myself and it feels like instead of losing one person you've lost your whole family. I think her aunt meant well enough but treating the house as if it was hers and nit-picking didn't help the situation. 

 “I felt a cold rush of air. The shadow and smoke cleared and I was lifted in a single jerking motion by a pair of string hands. I could clearly see the skin - soft, leathery brown. I knew who the hands belonged to. The shadow man. The color thief.” 

When you grow up, your friendships change and Izzy loses her best friend around the same time as the accident. Lou clearly wants to be part of the popular crowd - and she doesn't think Izzy is cool enough. She quickly turns into a bully, making Izzy's life complete hell at school. 

On the plus side, Izzy meets a new friend Toby, who uses a wheelchair after an accident. He excitedly shows her the new baby swans he found when they spot a smaller cygnet who seems to be struggling against it's bigger brothers and sisters, so they work out a plan to build him up to be bigger and stronger. It's a clever use of mirroring against Izzy's own life.

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