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The Color Midnight Made    by Andrew Winer order for
Color Midnight Made
by Andrew Winer
Order:  USA  Can
Washington Square, 2003 (2002)
Hardcover, Paperback

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* * *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

Andrew Winer has written an ultimately uplifting tale about urban life at its grimmest. Ten-year-old Conrad Clay manages to live through the end of many things: his father's job, his parents' marriage, his grandmother's death - not to mention the difficulties that his friendship with a black boy brings him.

Winer captures the flavor of youth with an uncanny ability to give voice to a real live ten-year-old. When Conrad gets into new situations, such as visiting a morgue or being sent to church without his parents, he tries to become part of the group he finds himself in. Since most of the time he has no idea what he has gotten himself into, we have a good laugh at these situations, but we also see that Conrad is a survivor. As Conrad tries to deal with parents who mostly ignore him, he finds solace outside his home. The colorful characters with whom he interacts help him to figure out who he really is.

Andrew Winer does this beautifully in terms of Conrad's color blindness. He is definitely color-blind when it comes to race, but early on, a doctor tells Conrad he cannot see other colors as well. How Conrad comes to grips with his flaw - and the flaws of the world he lives in - are what make The Color Midnight Made such worthwhile reading.

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