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