Friday, April 18, 2014

Seeing Red by Kathryn Erskine

Did you love Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine as much as I did? Book love: how is it we continue to be given these amazing gifts in the form of books by authors? I fell in love with Mockingbird on my first read and have since read it twice since. When I noticed Seeing Red on the shelves at my local library, I snagged it superfast. It's true: I was looking for another favorite book, and I found it. This time it was NEW BOOK Love!

I love the pace and structure of Seeing Red. It was a slower read for me, and I celebrate that. Some books I read are quick reads. I read the beginning chapters all invested and then pretty soon, I am losing just the tiniest bit of interest or life invades my reading time and I decide to skim a little. I still get the gist of the book and all, but it just isn't a fave then. I know an author has hit the mark when my reading slows down and I savor my living into the storyline. I first experienced this when Red started talking to his father. You see, his father had died a few months prior, and he was still talking to him. Especially when he gets into a difficult spot. Some of the folks in the story seem to struggle with kind, respectful, and welcoming ways of being help Red search for and create even more moments to talk with his deceased father.

Red is a young teen trying to prevent his mother from making the family move out of state. The bills have grown far too high with no way to pay them now that Red's father is dead, and Red's mom struggles to figure out any way to make ends meet other than selling the garage where Red's father used to fix cars and the house where the family still lives on the same property. The longer Red struggles to find ways to keep his family local, the more the primary plot emerges (and trust me: some of those attempts get him in a heap o' trouble). In the process, we readers get drawn into a phenomenal drama. Erskine artfully ties together race and equity issues, the Ku Klux Klan, and a community struggling to see how to maneuver and live in this historical fiction story.  While Red becomes a favorite character of mine, Miss Georgia is a heart winner!!

I love how Kathryn Erskine includes music of the times in her books. She even creates playlists and posts them on her blog for some of her books like Seeing Red and Mockingbird! I love how she carefully develops characters, and I love how she frames stories that make me want to read slowly. Tom Newkirk, author of The Art of Slow Reading, would be proud!! Thank you, Ms. Erskine, for writing your books!!


  1. Many thanks for that lovely review, Andie! I'm honored, and delighted that you enjoyed it so much!

  2. I thank you, Kathy, for writing this book! Please keep writing for us all! Andie