Seeing Red by Peter Lancett

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  221

RAC Book: No

Tom lives a very privileged life and frankly is not afraid to show it.  His parents are very busy professionals and he finds himself on his own a lot.  He loves divulging what labels he’s wearing and how fancy his house is, but he doesn’t have real close friends to discuss real issues with.  When he meets Sylvia he thinks she might be the one to finally understand him.  She shows him the wonders of cutting and he finds himself going down the same path whenever he has difficulty dealing with an issue in his life.  Sylvia is not as invested in the relationship as he is, however, and his ability to cope with the possibility of losing her comes into question.

Tom’s voice is very honest and easy for young adult readers to identify with.  Reluctant readers might find it especially easy to engage with him as he says everything he is thinking and does not really care about how it sounds.  Tom deals with many difficult issues such as abortion and depression, but it is handled in a way that readers can easily understand.  There is some strong language used at times to help Tom describe exactly how the people around him talk.  Fans of Ellen Hopkins would like this title, but encourage any reader who gravitates toward titles like this to feel comfortable discussing it with a teacher, librarian, or guidance counselor afterward as some of the material can affect some students more strongly than others.

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