Red Kayak by Priscilla Cummings

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Age Level: 12 and up

# of Pages: 208 p.

RAC Book: Yes

2008 Iowa Teen Award Winner

Brady loves living so close to the Chesapeake Bay. His father is a crab and oyster fisherman and he has two best friends, Digger and J.T. One day Brady sees the neighbor’s red kayak out before the boys go to school. He debates whether to yell and tell them it’s too dangerous to be out, but his friends convince him they will be fine. Brady is pulled out of school by his father later that morning because the kayak never returned and it contained the neighbor and her son. Brady had babysat for Ben and wanted to help find him.

As the search and rescue teams start heading off down the river Brady learns that the woman was found but was in shock. By chance he finds Ben and tries to resuscitate him while driving the boat back to the ambulance. By the time he gets there they have a pulse and Brady is hailed as a hero for the rest of the day. Things begin to go terribly wrong, however, when he starts to suspect that the kayak sinking was no accident and wonders how he should proceed.

This book was captivating in the way the story was revealed and in how it was explained. Brady faces one difficult decision after another and must decide who he should protect and who he should hurt. His father helps him decide that finding the right decision is easy, it’s just hard to act on it. This book will be a hit with teen boys due to its short and to the point nature, as well as for its interesting content. It would be good for classroom discussions on responsibility and making choices that will affect the rest of your life and many other people’s lives as well.


87 Responses to “Red Kayak by Priscilla Cummings”

  1. 1 Anonymous August 29, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    This book was amazing! I made me cry at times but i really liked it.

  2. 4 Anonymous September 14, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    This book is good, but i don’t like the bigining.

  3. 5 yomama November 5, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    i liked it

  4. 6 LA December 15, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    This book rocked im using it for my report for &th grade

  5. 12 ??? January 11, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    this book was horrible.
    i definately hated it…
    it has no substance and shold be burned.

  6. 15 ??? January 11, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    really it does.
    don’t read it..

  7. 16 Jessi April 7, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    This book is very good but the ending leaves you hanging=((

  8. 17 nia c(-: May 29, 2009 at 1:48 am


  9. 18 lexie June 1, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    i like it but it left out some info and it was a little bit drag out towards the middle of the book

  10. 20 me June 5, 2009 at 2:39 am

    I loved this book. It kept me wondering the whole time.

  11. 21 Sha June 6, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    I loved this book it great the ending is great so don’t listen to thoes stupid people that don’t like the book they just don’t know what a true good book really is so READ this book!!

  12. 22 Drew June 6, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    I soooo agree with Sha i maen the book is award winning and people r saying this book suck well they are just stupid people that don’t really read the book and say they did thats why they say they don’t like the book cuz the don’t even read it so read it!!!!

  13. 23 Mrs. Shittz August 4, 2009 at 12:57 am

    Dear ???,

    My opinion is that you are incorrect. Red Kayak was a fantastic book, and made me think more about things. I loved this book because it is inspirational. It makes you choose the right direction in life. Well, of course, it doesn’t MAKE you, but it shows that you should to keep out of trouble.

    Dear other people,

    This book is great and i strongly recommend it.

    • 24 manderse11 August 18, 2009 at 7:12 pm

      I’m not sure why you do not think I liked this book. I gave it a good review and said it would be especially captivating for teenage boys. Several of my students really enjoy this book.

  14. 25 Mrs. Shittz August 4, 2009 at 12:59 am

    By the way,

    Some other great kids’ books are Full Tilt (by Neal Shusterman), Scat (by Carl Hiassen), Flush (by Carl Hiassen), and After the Rain.

    • 26 REPLY ^^^ May 19, 2011 at 2:27 am

      I read After The Rain, and it was wonderful! I forced my teacher to have us read it, and everyone in my class loved it. Very good book!

  15. 27 no one October 23, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    i think that red kayak was a lot like the book Scat (by carl hiassen) but i do think that scat was better than red kayak. still red kayak is good.

  16. 28 CAN'T TELL ANYONE October 24, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    I love the book! I have to do a book report about that book in my classroom…….

  17. 29 Mrs. Dedinsky Doell November 14, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    This book has a lot of content that would help draw in readers of all types. It threads weaves into multiple stories leading the reader questioning and searching for answers. It is a smooth read and easy to follow. With a few vocabulary words it tests the reader and also challenges them to think about what is happening in the story, how they would react and what the theme etc. is.

  18. 30 Vikki Chesebro November 19, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    This book was amazing it makes be wonder at the end whats going to happen next. But thats what I love about it. This author made me believe that i was in Bradys body and it was me in that position. Thank you Priscilla Cummings it was one of the best books ever. I read this at forest area high school!

  19. 31 shabria December 2, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    I Love This Book Cause The End Was Sad Cause Ben Had Died And Kate Which Is J.T sister And Brady Likes Her

  20. 32 Anonymous December 18, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    this book really good i loved it a lot and i read it in school!:)

  21. 33 Beast March 12, 2010 at 2:02 am

    the book was great and I have to make a facebook page for brady as a book project so cool

  22. 34 haley July 30, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    This bookk seems good. Is it a good book?

  23. 35 Anonymous August 4, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    great book

  24. 37 aylin August 14, 2010 at 5:46 am

    i love this book but the reson why i love it so much is because i can sort of relate to brady because my little sister died 6 years ago when i was about 6 or seven it was horrible my parents didnt let me go to the funneral either i felt the same as brady did once i understood wat had happend

  25. 38 brianna October 3, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    this book was amazing and i loved it. it made me cry in some [arts though.

  26. 39 FFA October 8, 2010 at 12:08 am

    THIS BOOK WAS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. 40 Rebel Punk October 9, 2010 at 4:28 am

    I’m sure the book is good I’ve
    only made it to the 3 chapter
    and I already im hooked

  28. 41 someone October 11, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    i loved it. It was the only and best book i have ever read.

  29. 42 boogly woogly October 18, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    i really like this book so far. it really gives a life lesson. dont keep dawdling in the past. look forward and make the future

  30. 43 ?????? November 1, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    I can not wait to read it we are starting to read it in my L.A class and it seems like it is AWESOME i have read it before alittle and it was a really good book it keeps you hanging and it list everything that happends. So i advise you if you want a good book to read read this one yes it is sad, but it is still good so get this book and read it. 😀

  31. 44 Anonymous November 16, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Amazing!!!!! I finished it in 3 days. it kept me on the edge of my seat till the last word. 4 stars!!!

  32. 45 who dis November 19, 2010 at 6:25 am

    Awsome book!!!! Loved it

  33. 46 Anonymous December 7, 2010 at 1:45 am

    It ws one of the Best books I’ve read…
    But it was also sad :-S

  34. 47 miles January 7, 2011 at 12:55 am

    the book wasent bad it had its ups and downs

  35. 48 January 18, 2011 at 5:07 am

    i read this book for a sixth grade book report and i thought it was lame i thought it was boring i mean i liked the suspension but i didn’t like the ending

  36. 49 Anonymous February 6, 2011 at 1:34 am

    I think i really understood the book more because i live near the chespeke bay. that helped me a lot. :p

    • 50 yo mama March 15, 2011 at 8:23 pm

      it is helping me to understandf it more becase our school is in maryland and it helps us to understand it a lot better.

  37. 51 Gabe Cundari February 11, 2011 at 12:32 am

    this is something I have to read in my 6th grade English class i have 5 days to read it well he gave us 12 days but i have not even read a page yet so i’m looking online to find a book on tape

  38. 52 samantha r. March 20, 2011 at 1:14 am

    this book was good but i fell asleep on it alot

  39. 53 Nerd Reader March 23, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    This book absolutely sucked. I hated it, but not for the reasons most people do. And I’ve read a lot, so that’s saying something

  40. 54 kay March 30, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    this book was amazing sad but amazing so if u want a good book read this one :}

  41. 55 Breanna April 13, 2011 at 1:26 am

    Red Kayak is AMAZING! I apsoultly hate reading but this book was awesome. Its sad at times but it gets very intense and leaves you hanging! BUT I LOVEE IT!:)

  42. 56 N/A April 15, 2011 at 12:05 am

    I loved this book! It was amazing! I did cry at times… but I still loved the book!!!!!!!

  43. 57 Raven April 21, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    I agree with N/A. I love this book soooooooooooooooo much. im only on chapter 6, and I love it. I wonder what happens next…

  44. 58 woahhhh May 25, 2011 at 3:26 am

    the book was entereesting but in the summary it didnt mention that the dog mostly saved him and that he pointed brady in the right direction.

  45. 59 Anonymous June 3, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    i myself did somewhat injoy it

  46. 60 Anonymous June 15, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    this is a ok book but to get it you really have to pay attention

  47. 61 Anonymous June 27, 2011 at 1:20 am

    awsome book man

  48. 62 Anonymous July 28, 2011 at 1:34 am

    7th grade reading. dont tell! It had to be done! 😐

  49. 63 Mike Hawk August 5, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    the book was very troubling, but had some great parts to it. Overall I give it a 8 out of 10. 🙂

  50. 64 Alba Mockheart August 9, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    I couldn’t get into this book for some reason. I didn’t lke the story line and how Brady Parks put was too much pressure on himself. It basically pissed me. I would be so annoyed to read it because of Brady acting childish when he could of been strong for the people around him. The only reason i read it was because the entire 8th grade was required to read it, and have complete a packett and a test on it when we get back to school . This wasn’t a book to my liking at all.

  51. 65 Anonymous August 24, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    I did not like the beginning and that in some ways the ending was almost not finished but the middle was very good and it made me think “What’s next?? i need to read and see what happened!”

  52. 66 Anonymous September 8, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    This book is awesome. For those of you who disagree, read it gain. I loved this book. Did it for 7th grade summer reading.

  53. 67 Anonymous September 23, 2011 at 12:56 am

    This is a good book i would recommend this to young readers like me in 5th
    or 6th grade you would have so much fun!!!!!!!!!!

  54. 68 Anonymous October 23, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Defiantly a good book but lame in the beggining…. peace

  55. 69 jessie October 25, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    this book is truly amazing i would love to meet the writer, pricila cummings, she has a true talent. i did a report on the book for eigth grade i loved reading this book and i would love to read another book from her. i wish i was an amiazing writer like her. for eigth grade pre- we had to do an essay on our embeded assesmant that teaches us different things about heros. I had to write about my opinion of a hero please leave comments. this is all i have…
    Everyday Heroes

    “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles” Christopher Reeves. A hero is not just some story book character who saves a damsel in distressed. They can be everyday heroes. A mom fighting cancer but keeps a smile on her face for her family, a young girl trying to bring honor to her family by becoming a warrior.
    In Mulan the movie an everyday Chinese woman on her way to find her husband brings dishonor to her family. When Mulans father is called to fight in the war for china, Mulan speaks out for her father not to leave, this is prohibited in China for women to speak out in public. Mulan takes her father’s place and sneaks out in the middle of the night in disguise. Mulan is named a hero after saving the emperor and China. Mulan is an everyday woman who is named a hero and brought honor to her family after fighting in the war.
    In the story an everyday hero Anna an ordinary mom struggles through life with cancer, but she keeps a positive attitude for her husband and children. Even though she has cancer and has to go through chemo therapy she keeps a smile on her face. When someone asks her how she’s doing she replies I’m okay. “You make everyone feel that things are going to be okay. I admire how you react when people ask the question, how are you doing, you don’t talk about the difficulty breathing, the chemo therapy that makes you feel worse than the cancer does invariably, and you muster a smile and say I’m doing ok.” (SB 50) Anna takes time and does things for her kids even though the pain she goes through night and day. She’s a hero to her husband and kids every single day.
    A hero is not just a prince saving a princess or a warrior fighting in a war. A hero does not need to have super powers or a side kick to be a hero. A hero is simply an ordinary person who uses there time to save people in need. In the movie Batman begins Bruce Wayne is an everyday hero because he uses his money and time to save people and put villains in their place.
    Hero’s don’t have to be in a movie or a story, they are in everyday real life too. A doctor uses there time to save people’s lives. Firefighters put out fires and rescue people who need help. These are just a few everyday hero’s in our world that today’s children hope to grow up and be. Hero’s don’t have to be men or a prince or even a princess. There are many people around us today that are ordinary people that someone sees as a hero.

  56. 70 Anonymous January 4, 2012 at 2:16 am

    This was a pretty bad book…

  57. 71 Anonymous January 25, 2012 at 1:07 am

    I’m in 7th grade and I’m in the middle of this stupid book now

  58. 72 Anonymous February 20, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    This book was amazing. I just finished it. it was very slow in the beginning but towards the middle i just could not stop reading. I would hide it under my desk in classes just to keep reading it. I would read it all over again. but im not going to i have other things to do.. haha

  59. 73 Anonymous April 10, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Whatevs, I liked it

  60. 74 Anonymous May 30, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    This was an amazing book. Simply Spectacular!

  61. 75 Anonymous June 5, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    it was good

  62. 76 jayden June 14, 2012 at 12:30 am

    i had to read this book for class and at first i didnt get it but when i got further it was really crazy of how brady finds stuff out

  63. 77 why do you care????? August 14, 2012 at 2:51 am

    i love it but it doesn’t describe the characters very well. other wise i loved it!!!!!!!!!!! and the ending wasn’t so great but its ok!!:(

  64. 78 Anonymous August 24, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    good book! have to read it for read aloud can’t wait to get further!

  65. 81 I love Sports October 3, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    I think that it is a very sad story when his mom comes to school and tells him that Ben had died

  66. 82 Anonymous October 15, 2012 at 2:09 am

    Liked the book but hated the ending

  67. 83 lindsay October 26, 2012 at 12:57 am

    i thought the story was very interesting and had a lot of details.

  68. 84 madison karelitz November 10, 2012 at 12:11 am

    This book is amazing best book I ever read

  69. 85 Anonymous December 11, 2012 at 12:28 am

    It was a great book all of the people that disliked it should open their eyes and reread it. This book its the best!!!

  70. 86 kolagen December 15, 2012 at 1:29 am

    Good info. Lucky me I recently found your blog by chance (stumbleupon).
    I have saved as a favorite for later!

  71. 87 Anonymous January 29, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    The book is amazing. It really gets into your feelings, it also shares a valuable lesson. The ending was okay, but not as good as the beginning. Cannot wait until I get the second book of this series.

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