Since her mother's accident, Izzy's dreams have been plagued by a sinister, shadowy figure and the colours are draining from the mural depicting scenes from Izzy's life as painted by her mother. With her father struggling to cope and Izzy's best friend acting very strangely, nothing is as it should be.
Then Izzy meets Toby, her new neighbour, who does not let being in a wheelchair limit what he can do and together, they plot to help a cygnet which they name Spike. As Toby's positive attitude and persistence start to rub off on her, will Izzy find the courage to solve the mystery of the colour thief?
This is such a good read! The story sensitively explores a complex range of emotions, the need to share feelings and the true value of friendship. Izzy is a very engaging character whose confusion and loneliness in the situation she finds herself in are poignantly depicted- particularly for her mother, but also by the betrayal of her best friend. The loss of colour in the mural echoes feelings of depression whilst the growing strength of the cygnet, Spike, mirrors the improvement of Izzy's mental health as her feelings change.
Toby is also brilliantly developed. Izzy's need for a reliable friend as Lou, her erstwhile best friend, has deserted her and is now victimising her is filled by this inspiring, positive young man, who has had his own trauma to come to terms with. The opportunity to listen to him and to share her thoughts in return supports Izzy and allows her to solve the mystery of the colour thief.
Beautifully written, this is a must for encouraging empathy as well as being an excellent story. Highly recommended!
The Mystery of the Colour Thief Ewa Jozefkowicz
Zephyr ISBN: 978-1786698940