Saturday, June 18, 2016

Red by Liesl Shurtliff

Have you ever wondered, what’s the “real” story behind the fairytale of “Little Red Riding Hood”?  For example, why does she wear that red cape?  Is she some kind of superhero wanna-be? Why do her parents let her walk through that dark forest all alone?  And by the way, just where are her parents?  Now about the granny, why does she live all alone in the woods? How many grandmothers do you know that prefer to live all by their lonesome in the scary woods?  Then we come to the wolf.  Seriously, how many wolves have you met that dress up in granny clothes and talk?  Does that even really happen?  Read Red by Liesl Shurtliff and find the answers to all these questions and more, so much more!  Red is one twisted fairytale fantasy that takes you on a journey in which you come to expect the unexpected.  Red sets out on a journey to find a solution to help her ailing granny.  Along the way she meets Goldie (future like long friend?), encounters deadly water sprites, dwarves (Snow White did not tell the full story!), an ancient huntsman, a beast, and of course the wolf!  So much happens to Red and Goldie on their quest that it's easy to forget they’re only kids!

As with many fantasies, Red is a wonderful escape from everyday life.  But just when it seems all hope is lost, we’re reminded that in a fantasy anything can happen and magic takes over. What makes this book so special, and different from many other fantasies, is the powerful theme woven throughout the story. The lesson is not readily evident at first, but all at once the readers realize the author's message. I won’t give away the theme here, I’m excited to have students discover the lesson for themselves and share it with me!

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