The Col­or of Sound

  • Review
By – March 11, 2024

Rosie is not only a vio­lin prodi­gy, but she expe­ri­ences music as a cas­cad­ing rain­bow of col­or because of her synes­the­sia. How­ev­er, at twelve years old, Rosie is becom­ing inter­est­ed in new and dif­fer­ent expe­ri­ences. Her exhaus­tive per­for­mance sched­ule and her seem­ing­ly end­less hours of rig­or­ous vio­lin prac­tice have pre­vent­ed her from liv­ing the kind of life that most oth­er teens find ful­fill­ing. She has no time for friends, hob­bies, or explo­ration of her Judaism. Oth­er girls might be able to cel­e­brate a bat mitz­vah, but how can Rosie pos­si­bly find the time for Hebrew school? Her ambi­tious par­ents push her too hard, and although she knows they want the best for her, she isn’t sure which of life’s paths is the right one for her to follow.

While bond­ing with her grand­par­ents over the sum­mer, Rosie meets a girl who reminds her of some­one she knows. She slow­ly begins to real­ize that the girl is her moth­er, who is time-trav­el­ing and, mys­te­ri­ous­ly, the same age that Rosie is now. The girls begin to learn about one anoth­er; and although they have much in com­mon, dif­fer­ences in the ways they’ve been brought up col­or how they look at the world and influ­ence what each of them finds impor­tant and sat­is­fy­ing. Both Rosie and her moth­er use their new­ly acquired knowl­edge to make some changes in their out­looks and activ­i­ties. They learn that reach­ing for the new may not nec­es­sar­i­ly require a total sac­ri­fice of the tried and true.

This beau­ti­ful­ly writ­ten book presents a pro­tag­o­nist who learns to love music, col­or, reli­gion, friend­ship, act­ing, and all the pos­si­bil­i­ties inher­ent in a brighter future. Read­ers will iden­ti­fy with Rosie and her extend­ed fam­i­ly as they march into the years ahead — years that are sud­den­ly filled with the promise of joy and accomplishment.

Michal Hoschan­der Malen is the edi­tor of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A for­mer librar­i­an, she has lec­tured on top­ics relat­ing to lit­er­a­cy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.

Discussion Questions