Seeing Red

8 CDs. 10 hrs. Recorded Bks. 2014. ISBN 9781490612812. Playaway, digital download.
Gr 5–9—Twelve-year-old Red Porter's entire world has changed since his daddy died. Mama has put their family's auto repair shop/convenience store up for sale and is planning to move Red and his little brother, Jay, from rural Stony Gap, Virginia, to Ohio. Red is determined to find some way for the family to stay in the only home he has ever known. While searching for ideas, Red gets involved with a rough group of older boys who almost lynch Red's African American former best friend, Thomas. This book, set in 1972, deals with some weighty issues: race relations, the murder of Emmett Till, the Ku Klux Klan, physical abuse, and death. Narrator Michael Bakkensen reads Red's part with a thick southern twang and whines authentically (sometimes excruciatingly) as seven-year-old Jay. The audiobook ends with an author's note on how young people have the power to change the world by their words and actions. This would be a good choice for a civil rights unit.—Julie Paladino, East Chapel Hill High School, NC

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