Fire Color One

Fire Color One

Book - 2017
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Penguin Putnam
A finalist for the prestigious Carnegie Medal, this novel is a stunning tribute to fathers and daughters, and to the unique power of art to connect and change us.

Sixteen-year-old Iris itches constantly for the strike of a match. But when she’s caught setting one too many fires, she’s dragged away to London before she can get arrested. At least, that’s the story her mother tells. Soon Iris finds herself in the English countryside, where her millionaire father—a man she’s never met—lives. Though not for very much longer.

Iris’s father is dying, and her self-interested mother is determined to claim his life’s fortune, including his priceless art collection. Forced to live with him as part of an exploitive scheme, Iris quickly realizes her father is far different from the man she’s been schooled to hate, and everything she thought she knew—about her father and herself—is suddenly unclear. But there may be hidden beauty in Iris’s uncertain past and hopeful future, if only she can see beyond the flames.

Praise for Fire Color One:

"It’s not often—in fact, it has never happened to me even once—that I fall so hard for a young arsonist. The book moves swiftly, alternating between comedy and sadness, sometimes in the same paragraph. I loved Fire Color One." —Daniel Wallace, critically acclaimed and bestselling author of Big Fish

* "Valentine writes about family dysfunction, arson, and art with equal levels of beauty and lyricism, creating a vivid landscape of heartache and redemption....A story about an ugly situation that explodes into beauty through cunning and resilience." —Kirkus *STARRED*

* "From the first page to the last, Valentine has crafted a masterpiece." —BCCB *STARRED*

"[T]his is a poignant story about the power of art to connect and transform." —SLJ

"Beautifully written...a quiet, reflective novel that blooms into a thrilling mystery." —Booklist

"Fire Color One is a stunning journey of a teenage girl’s struggle to find her place in a world that tries its hardest to keep her out....For fans of stories in which the good guys prevail, this book is perfect." —VOYA

"Wise, brilliantly plotted." —The Sunday Times

"Beautifully written...this latest creation is her most spectacular yet." —The Guardian Children's Books review

“A beautifully written, darkly funny and surprisingly poignant story of art, family and discovering the people we thought we knew.” —Kerry Kletter, critically acclaimed author of The First Time She Drowned

Praise for Me, the Missing, and the Dead:

A Morris Award finalist
Winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize (under title Finding Violet Park)

* “Compulsively readable. A memorable new voice.” —Publishers Weekly *STARRED*

* “Lucas’ pitch-perfect voice and authentic family relationships...and the poignant, coming-of-age mystery will stay with the reader long after the book ends. Valentine’s debut novel shines richly.” —Booklist *STARRED*

* “Engaging from start to finish.” —School Library Journal *STARRED*

“An impressive debut. Valentine offers a rich cast of characters and marvelous writing.” —Buffalo News

“Charmingly told, this mystery manages to be both frothy and nourishing.” —Kirkus

Baker & Taylor
Following her fortune-hunting mother's plan, a teenaged arsonist meets her wealthy, dying father, the owner of a priceless art collection, only to discover that the stories she has been told about him all her life might not have been true.

& Taylor

A father and daughter reconnect after a life spent apart and discover that their mutual love of art is not the only thing they share in common. By the award-winning author of Me, the Missing, and the Dead. Simultaneous eBook.

Publisher: New York : Philomel Books, 2017, c2015
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9780399546921
Characteristics: 228 p. ; 22 cm


From the critics

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Jul 25, 2017

Pretty good book. Iris is kind of crazy, though-- I can't really identify with her pyromaniacal desire to set fires and cause destruction and, potentially, harm to other people. Other than that, her mother and stepfather are classic evil characters, interested in only money. I found most of the characters kind of black-and-white, and only Iris really had any grey areas. Ernest was good-- Hannah and Lowell were evil, and most characters were pretty predictable. Other than that, pretty good book. I liked that there was not much romance, unlike a lot of teen novels, and the focus was elsewhere, which made it more interesting to read.

Jul 08, 2017

Wow. All I can really say is wow. I didn't expect this book to be this good. The description is absolutely beautiful and perfectly fits into the artistic mood of the book. The plot was very brilliantly-structured and well-written (there is a nice twist at the end too!).
What I loved the most about the novel is how the reader knows that Ernest is going to die, yet they still hold onto the hope that he will survive.
The biggest problem (in my opinion) is that the story puts down mothers. I felt somewhat uncomfortable when the author described the awful things Hannah did. Not because she was cruel, but because I saw it as a way of reestablishing the message that dads are great. I personally think that the mom was simply....too much of an antagonist. The summary states that the book is a "stunning tribute to fathers and daughters", but I felt that the role of a mother was dismissed.
In spite of these small suggestions, I would recommend this book to practically everyone. It is a spectacular read.

Lisa_Marie_C Apr 12, 2017

An intriguing character study about a teenage pyromaniac, her estranged father, her toxic mother, and the secrets that define them.

Nov 09, 2016

I was genuinely surprised by this tale! Even though it was nine parts family drama and one part action I did not have any trouble remaining intrigued until the very end.


Add Notices
Jul 08, 2017

Sexual Content: One scene that is lightly described where the main character is being assaulted, but nothing in particular occurs.

Jul 08, 2017

Coarse Language: Some minor swears

Age Suitability

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Jul 08, 2017

jmli thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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Jul 08, 2017

A young arsonist is sent by her mother to live with her dying millionaire father in hopes of inheriting his fortune.


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Jul 08, 2017

"It was terrifying. It was amazing."

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