Saturday 12 May 2012

133. Red by Libby Gleeson

Red by Libby Gleeson
Published May 2012 Allen & Unwin

From the publisher:

Red can't remember the cyclone. She can't remember anything - her name, where she lived, who her family might be. Her identity has been ripped away. Then she makes a discovery, and finds she has an important mission to accomplish. But in this chaotic, bewildering world, can she do it on her own? Who can she trust?

Waking up with mud in her hair, in her mouth, covering her body Red mutters the words 'jaymartinjaymartinjaymartin' , and is slapped across the face by a boy she doesn't know.  This boy isn't the only thing she doesn't remember, she doesn't remember anything about her life, not even her name.  Red is just the name Peri (the boy she doesn't know) gives her because he spotted her because of her red t-shirt.

Sydney has been devastated by a cyclone, 100s are dead, 100s more missing.  There is no electricity and the city is in full on disaster mode.  Emergency camps are being set up, where people can register to find their families.  Red is all for heading there, but Peri warns her that if she goes there she runs the risk of being put into care, as she has no family and no idea who she is.  This part of the story bugged me a bit, this boy was a stranger, yes he did find her food, and a place to sleep, but surely you would seek help from the organisations whose job it was to help you find your family?  The character is only about 11 years old, so perhaps at her age, and being alone, it makes sense to listen to the only person (Peri) that she knew.

Eventually Red and Peri do let themselves be photographed, giving false names and claiming to be siblings, in the hope that someone will recognise them...and someone does.  A friend of Red's (real name Rhiannon Chalmers) from primary school, Jazz,  who hasn't seen her since the day she was mysteriously taken out of school and left town.  With this information comes a trickling of memories and the discovery of a USB that sends Red, Jazz and Peri on a race to get to Melbourne.  For three children, with little money and even less time, getting to Melbourne will be difficult, but it's the only way Red will find out where her Father might be and maybe even who the mysterious Jay Martin might be.

This is an easy read, fast paced with a mystery thrown in.  Like I said, some aspects I found difficult to believe, but sometimes we have to have a suspension of disbelief, and just let ourselves enjoy a story for the story's sake.

Who will like this book: Boys and girls age 10+
Read it if you like: Mysteries


  1. I luv this story because I read it at campsie library lol

    1. Thanks for your comments Charlie. Maybe you were one of the lucky ones who got to see Libby Gleeson when she visited Campsie library earlier this year :)

  2. I luv it so much