By Esther Callens
Set to be released in October is an emotionally, inspiring fictional story that is suitable for ages 10-14. Seeing Red by Kathryn Erskine is the title of this empowering coming of age novel. Told through the eyes of a young teen, Seeing Red makes a wonderful addition to any school reading program or a young reader’s personal library.
The preteen/teen years are often a confusing time for most children. It is during this period they often encounter numerous situations that require them to make grown-up decisions –choices that most are not quite ready to handle. This is where Seeing Red comes into play. Presenting a preteen up against a number of unforeseen challenges, it offers a story that incorporates the three Es—enjoyable, enlightening and educational.
Frederick Stewart Porter, aka Red, is almost 13. Not too long ago, he was happy just to work with his father in their shop. But all that changed suddenly when his father died unexpectedly. Now Red considers himself the man of the house but no one listens to him. His mother doesn’t consider Red’s opinion to stay in their hometown of Stony Gap, Va. John, his little brother, pays more attention to the television than he does Red. His relationship with Thomas, his best friend, is ultimately strained. Although Red apologizes, he is left uncertain as to where they stand. Finally, there is the questionable family legacy that Red’s father didn’t have a chance to solve. However, with the family auto repair shop’s motto being – “Porter’s: We Fix It Right!” – Red know what he must do – even though he is only “Almost Thirteen.”
Katherine Erskine paints a realistic tale of growing up in the south and doing the right thing even when it’s against the norm. Addressing racial injustices, abuse and numerous other topics, Seeing Red perfectly tackles some grown up issues with a child’s mind. Having said that, a lot can be learned from children –when adults just listen.
Kathryn Erskine is the celebrated author of numerous titles that include Mockingbird and Quaking. She penned Seeing Red because she believes that world impact can be done at any age. She and her husband and two children make Virginia home.