Sunday, September 29, 2013

Seeing Red - Book Review

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In 1972, Red Porter's father dies, leaving behind Red, Red's younger brother, J, and Red's mother. His father's death means that Red and his family have to pack up and move from Virginia to Ohio to be closer to his mother's family. But moving is the last thing Red wants to do!

Red decides there has to be a way to convince his mother to stay in Stony Gap, Virginia. But as he tries different plans, he ends up uncovering a mysterious family history as well as confronting racism and sexism in his small hometown.

The sign above his father's auto repair shop reads "Porter's: We fix it right", and that's exactly what Red intends to do to honor his father. He's not just trying to fix cars. He's trying to right the wrongs of history. Throughout one summer and fall, 12-year-old Red learns what it means to be a good man and how to accept and embrace change.

It seems that I've read so many YA books written from a female point of view that it's a refreshing change of pace to have a male protagonist. This is a great book for both boys and girls to read and would definitely prompt a lot of discussion in the classroom or for middle school book clubs. (I'm going to make a note to suggest this book for our book club next summer.)

What I also love about this book is that even though author Kathryn Erskine writes about some heavy topics, it's totally age-appropriate for kids 10-14. I also really like that the book does deal with some heavy topics so that today's kids are confronting these issues at the same time as Red Porter and thinking about whether or not these are still issues today. This is definitely a must-read for middle schoolers!

Seeing Red is published by Scholastic and is available to purchase now. I received a free advance review copy for my honest review.

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