By Truus Matti (Translated from the Dutch by Laura Watkinson)
156 pages. Historical fiction.
Linus is a young boy living in New York City during World War II. When his older brother, Albie, gets shipped off to fight in Europe, Linus must fill in as delivery boy for the family's grocery store. One of the customers on his route is an interesting artist (the painter Piet Mondrian) who paints vivid, graphic artwork using "the colors of the future." He tells Linus to call him "Mr. Orange" because of his ordering oranges by the crate from the store. The two strike up a friendship and have meaningful dialogue about the war, art, and imagination. The war somewhat touches his life, but Linus sees soldiers as the superheroes in his beloved comic books- brave, but also removed from his everyday life. This novel is an exceptionally written, unique work of historical fiction. It is thoughtful, but not bleak, and is appropriate for most readers. There are many resources in the afterword for books, videos, and exhibits about Mondrian's work.