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The Extraordinary Colors of Auden Dare (Hardcover)
On Our Shelves Now
In the tradition of The Iron Giant and The Wild Robot comes Paragon, a robot built by scientists who comes to gain the trust and love of a boy. Auden Dare can't see colors and believing his uncle has found a cure, he sets out to discover the truth. With mysterious clues, secret codes, a lovely friendship with Vivi and a focus on the dire consequences of environmental issues, this is a perfect book. It left me unexpectedly in tears and would be a fabulous read aloud.— From Beth's Picks
A beautiful friendship and coming-of-age story in middle-grade, The Extraordinary Colors of Auden Dare by Zillah Bethell is lightly futuristic, and deeply compelling.
Auden Dare is colorblind and lives in a world where water is scarce and families must live on a weekly, allocated supply.
When Auden’s uncle, the scientist Dr. Bloom, suddenly dies, he leaves a note to Auden and to his classmate Vivi Rookmini. Together, the notes lead them to Paragon—a robot.
As Auden, Vivi, and Paragon try to uncover Paragon’s purpose and put together the clues Dr. Bloom left behind, they find out that Dr. Bloom's death was anything but innocent, that powerful people are searching for Paragon—and that it's up to Auden and Vivi to stop them.
About the Author
Zillah Bethell was born in a leprosy hospital in Papua New Guinea, spent her childhood barefoot playing in the jungle, and didn’t own a pair of shoes until she came to the United Kingdom when she was eight years old. She was educated at Oxford University and lives in Wales with her family. A Whisper of Horses is her first children’s book.
"Auden Dare was born with achromatopsia—he cannot see any color. If that wasn't hard enough, he lives in a world in which water is a scarce resource. His father is away fighting in the Water Wars when he and his mother move to his late uncle Jonah’s cottage ... Be prepared for some tears ... as Auden learns the hard way what sacrifice for the greater good truly means."-- Booklist magazine
Praise for A Whisper of Horses:
"In this densely plotted dystopian novel, newly orphaned twelve-year-old Serendipity sets out in search of supposedly extinct horses. . . . Bethell’s inventive heroine propels an action-packed adventure." —Publishers Weekly
"Bethell turns all the old formulas on their head. . . . As with all good fantasy, there is a strong requisite of reality . . . the narrative is driven by the skillfully articulated sentiments of a horse-obsessed girl." —The Telegraph (U.K.), five stars
“This debut offers up a solid dose of middle-grade adventure.” —Booklist