Summary (from Goodreads):
“Jodi Picoult is one of the most beloved authors of our time. Her many novels, consistently topping both national and international bestseller lists (“Sing You Home,” “My Sister’s Keeper,” “Nineteen Minutes”), are celebrated for addressing controversial issues with courage, grace, and empathy. In her new Byliner Original, “The Color War,” she showcases her versatility and storytelling gifts once again with a moving and revealing portrait of a boy coming of age in an America where the lines between black and white, rich and poor, and insider and outsider too often divide minds and hearts and separate a child from his own sense of promise.
All Raymond wants to do is hang out with his best friend, Monroe, but life has other plans. This summer, his mother has decided to send him to Bible camp for inner-city kids. On the bus there, he dreams of the best night of his life, when he and Monroe slipped away from home and jumped the turnstiles to ride the subway to downtown Boston on New Year’s Eve. The elaborate ice sculptures on display thrilled them, especially an angel with outstretched wings that glowed ghostly in the night. Raymond wakes on the bus to what he takes for another angel: Melody, a camp counselor and lifeguard. Like all the staff, she’s white. Pretty, blond, and friendly, she’s the person Raymond most wants to impress during the Color War, the camp’s sports competition, and to whom he confesses his most painful secret, a loss that has made him grow up far too fast and left him wise beyond his mere nine years.
Will Raymond manage to connect to Melody—or anyone—when he’s so far from what he’s known and loved? Or will he discover that sometimes the road to hell is paved with good intentions? A searing look at race and what it means to survive our own color wars.”
You should know going in that this is a short story. It’s not a novel. (The fact that it’s only a few bucks should tell you that; also the fact that it’s clearly marked as a Kindle single.)
I immediately loved Raymond. He’s so young, but he’s also so quiet and so old for a kid. It was immediately obvious that something horrible had happened and while I guessed what it was, I had no idea just how awful that something was. (I know, vague. Sorry.)
I wish this could eventually become a full-fledged novel, although I’m not sure I could take it.