Monday 11 June 2012

YA Review: Red

Red Red by Libby Gleeson (Allen and Unwin)
PB RRP $15.99
ISBN 978-1-74175-853-5
Reviewed by Ann Harth ( )

She wakes in pain, covered in mud and with no memory of who she is or why she is lying in a scene of flooded devastation.

Written from the viewpoint of a young girl with amnesia, Red is the captivating novel of her struggle to piece together the past after a devastating cyclone tears apart the eastern suburbs of Sydney. Befriended by Peri, a compassionate but troubled boy, she agrees to be called Red until they can discover her true identity. The two develop a strong friendship as they search for clues about her family and her place in the world.

Snippets of Red’s memory begin to return after she is reunited with Jazz, an old friend from primary school and Red and Peri move in with Jazz’s family until they decide on their next move.

While staying with Jazz, the discovery of a locket containing a memory stick with a message from Red’s father triggers the start of a dangerous mission for the three friends. The information on the memory stick must be delivered into the right hands. Red’s life depends on it, her father’s too – if he’s still alive.

Throughout the book, the strength and courage of Red’s character shine through as she overcomes numerous obstacles. Her loyalty to her father and friends is inspiring as she battles to achieve her goal.

Libby Gleeson has created a fast-moving plot filled with conflict, suspense and with a cast of believable characters. She plunges into the story from the first sentence and keeps the intrigue and emotion high until the very last page.

Younger readers will be riveted by this compelling story as they follow Red on her quest for the truth. The writing is rich with sensory images and invites the audience to enter the world of post-cyclone Sydney.

Award-winning author, Libby Gleeson has published over 30 books for children and teenagers. She is the winner of the 2011 Dromkeen Medal, awarded for her significant contribution to children’s literature. For more information about Libby Gleeson, please visit her website:

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