The Extraordinary Colours of Auden Dare

The Extraordinary Colours of Auden Dare

Zillah Bethell,

The Extraordinary Colours of Auden Dare

Piccadilly Press, 2017

ISBN 9781848126084

11-14 Shortlist 2018


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out of 5



Who Wrote It?

Zillah Bethell is an author of both adults and children’s books. She was born in Papua New Guinea and spent her childhood playing barefoot in the jungle. She owned her first pair of shoes when she was eight after moving to the UK. She lived with her grandmother who had a small antique shop.

She studied French and English Literature at Oxford University. She now lives in Wales with her husband, two children and lots of rescue animals.

What's It About?

Auden Dare has an unusual perspective on life: he cannot see in colour. He's always had this rare condition - and life is beginning to get harder for Auden. The war for water that is raging across the world is getting a little closer all the time. It hardly rains any more, anywhere. Everyone is thirsty all the time, and grubby and exhausted. Auden has to learn to live without his father, who is away fighting and has had to move to a new town with his mother, and start a new school, where everyone thinks he's a weirdo. But when he meets Vivi Rookmini, a smiling girl bright with cleverness, his hopes begin to lift.

Fact File

The Extraordinary Colours of Auden Dare is Zillah Bethell’s second children’s novel. She has also written three adult novels.

As a child she enjoyed reading the Malory Towers books by Enid Blyton. Her favourite storybook characters were George from The Famous Five and Velvet Brown from National Velvet. Her favourite book of all time is 1984 by George Orwell.

She likes the sea, mint choc chip ice-cream, horses and music.

To find out more about Zillah visit her website:

or follow her on Twitter: @BethellZillah

You can read a Q and A with Bethell here.

Your Reviews

Poppy from King James's School:

At first a slow moving story, setting the destopian feel, but by the end you have a deep connection with all the characters and the ending could even be a little tear provoking!Paragon was my favourite character as he was the most human of all of them, even though he's, ultimately, not. He is not, as his name suggests, perfect, and they're are many things about him that neither he nor us as readers will ever know. But his character is still lovable and cheery even in the darkest times.The story keeps you guessing, as meaningless coincidence after meaningful coincidence keep you swerving in every direction. Though, admittedly, a slow starter, anyone could tell you that, if you put the work in, you will come out of the experience deeply touched and hounding for more!

Poppy gave The Extraordinary Colours of Auden Dare 4 out of 5 and now plans to read Dragon's Green by Scarlett Thomas.

Hannah from King James's School:

The book had everything you need from a story. It had a great plot, a believable plot. The characters were brilliantly drawn and developed throughout the story although, I feel the character Boyle was forced because he seemed to only be put into the story to tell Auden about his Dad, as he doesn’t seem to develop as much as anyone else. The friendship between Auden and Vivi is beautiful and the fact that the writer makes you believe that a robot can also develop in character and actually feel emotion is amazing.

Hannah gave The Extraordinary Colours of Auden Dare 4 out of 5 and now plans to read I Have No Secrets by Penny Joelson.

Deia from roundhay school:

This book was better than I expected. i first thought it wasn't my type but as I started to read it I got into it and it was quite good.😀

Deia gave The Extraordinary Colours of Auden Dare 4 out of 5 and now plans to read Welcome to Nowhere by Elizabeth Laird.