Saturday, February 20, 2010

Looking for Red (MG)


Looking for Red. By Angela Johnson. 2002. Simon & Schuster. 116 pages.

When I was four, I could read the newspaper backward and upside down. I would stand and read the newspaper and not know I was doing it. Then suddenly everyone realized I was reading. It was something that just happened to me. It wasn't strange or anything. Magic, almost.

There is something almost raw and yet tender about Angela Johnson's Looking For Red. Our narrator, Michaela or Mike as everyone calls her, is grieving the loss of her brother, Red. Everyone is grieving. His family. His friends. (Especially his best friend, Mark, and his girl friend, Mona.) To Mike it seems almost wrong that life should go on, that a new school year should begin, that the seasons change. If it could just stay summer, she thinks, then perhaps her brother would still feel present. Part of her feels him still, sees him still.

This one is well-written and very bittersweet.

It's Red who I think of every time I pick up a book, ride my bicycle, or hear someone laugh. Everything was always him. He was always there, and we were always us. (2)

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

2 comments:

CarlyB 1:01 PM  

Aw this one sounds sweet. Thanks for the review :) x

Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith 2:02 PM  

Sounds fascinating. Neat review.

Bill ;-)

Hope you'll check out my book giveaway:
http://drbillsbookbazaar.blogspot.com/2010/02/book-giveaway-emmys-equal.html

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
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I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

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