Seeing Red

Seeing Red

Book - 2013 | 1st ed.
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When twelve-year-old Frederick "Red" Porter's father dies in 1972, his mother wants to sell their automobile repair shop and move her two sons back to Ohio, but Red is desperate to stop the sale even if it means unearthing some dark family secrets in a Virginia rife with racial tensions.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Scholastic Press, 2013.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780545464406
Branch Call Number: J FIC ERSKINE
Characteristics: 344 p. ; 22 cm.


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May 21, 2014

This is one of those uncomfortably good books. What I mean is that it forces you to look at yourself and American history and see its not as beautiful as you thought. That there is fear and hate going around even today, all because no one wants to stand up and be different. "Red" is the main boy in this book. Growing up in 1972 in the south with his family he missed that there is huge discrinimation going on. After his father dies, he starts to have things happen in life that helps him to see the prejudice against blacks and also women. A life altering incident happens right away in the book (page 98) But instead of making good choices, he is paralyzed by uncertainty. I thought it was very good at showing the struggle. To me it was extremly realistic, because we may all think we are loving, however when put directly in the situation things change. Red begins to reflect on how his father would have handled things and that helps to guide him. His father stood up for the blacks and promoted healthy change. The characters are rich and varied dispite the sterotypical setting. They live next door to a neighbor that bullies his family. Even the abusive father isn't one diminsional, he has layers. There is a good support system around Red with a strong older black woman, a slow man, and a smart creative teacher. About page 200 a giant mystry is introduced that Red has to solve. It helps to round out the story and bring it all home with the lessons he's learned from his friends and life. If you can get past the uncomfortable feelings, you will find this to be a gem of a book. I think kids would like this better than adults. Some adults would be happier to ignore the lessons this book teaches and pretend ugly things don't happen. However as the book brought out: if you ignore history aren't you doomed to repeat your mistakes?

Apr 22, 2014

Best book ever. It really shows the conflict during the Civil Rights movement and Rights for Women in America.

Dec 05, 2013

So I basically spent this entire book on the verge of tears. I had NO idea what I was getting to with this book. It's set during the 70's and it deals with the aftermath of the civil rights movement and the rampant sexism that was still in place. This book is powerful.

Every thing in this book is so layered - in a lot of ways it reminds me of To Kill a Mockingbird. It really sets up different levels of understanding depending on the reader's experience, which is why I think it would be a great book for classrooms or from a parent as an introduction to issues. This book is also a great example as to why the Bechdel test isn't a measurement of how good a book is, it's simply an observation of their roles. Seeing Red doesn't pass the test as the book is narrated in first person and our narrator is a boy, but it strongly advocates male/female equality (it's not preachy though, don't worry). I'm not sure I've read a book that so strongly shows why we need it, and what it means when we don't have it, and it was very well done!

For the full review, head to my book blog at so long and thanks for all the fish.


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