Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Seeing Red by Kathryn Erskine

Seeing RedAfter the death of his father, Red is living with his mother and younger brother. Life is tough, and Red's mother decides they're going to move to Ohio to be closer to her family. Red is very upset about moving away from memories of his father, so he'll do anything he can in order to stay. A neighbor boy talks Red into spray painting his home, so people won't want to buy it. Red gets caught. Red meets with a gang of boys in the middle of the night to ask for help, but they make him set a cross on fire and want him to hurt a black friend who has been tied to a tree. In school, he doesn't understand the need for history, but he starts to learn about injustices done to black people in the South. He realizes it's unfair and starts to think about making his own history.

The book started with Red's determination to stop the move to Ohio, but it transitioned into a plot involving racism. Both events were traumatic for him. I found it surprising at how naive Red was about the treatment of blacks in the South, especially with the story being set in 1973 Virginia. There were many references made to games, television shows, etc. from that time period, and there was a great deal of information about the civil rights movement.

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