Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Saving Red

Sones, Sonya (Author)
HarperCollins 2016. 442 pages
First published: 2016
ISBN: 9780062370280 (hardcover)
9780062370303 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Novel
Book genre: Realistic

Text Elements:

characterization, point of view

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Molly, a 14-year-old freshman, is surveying homeless people in Santa Monica as part of a school project. She is instructed not to offer help or get involved. When she comes across an intense 18-year-old redhead sleeping in the dunes, Molly is captivated. Returning the next day with supplies, she ends up on a mission to reunite “Red” with her family. But it turns out Red hears voices and is bipolar, making it challenging, and at times dangerous, to get involved.

Told in Molly’s frank voice, this verse novel snaps along at a quick pace, packing emotional information with ease through its honest narrator. Molly suffers from panic attacks after an incident a year earlier when her older brother, who had PTSD, disappeared on her watch.

Poems are written in blank verse with a strong narrative drive. Similes highlight her turbulent inner life: “A wave of guilt and grief/slams into me so hard/it almost knocks me off my feet./But then Pixel’s here,/working his nose/into my palm./And the wave passes over me like the shadow of a cloud/that blows across a lawn/and is gone.”

Her dog, Pixel, is her lifeline, as is Cristo, a 14-year-old boy she meets by chance on a Ferris wheel and falls in love with. Her home life is troubled, with a pot-smoking mother and a workaholic father. Through it all, she risks everything to save Red, and in the process, ends up saving herself.

  •  

    Verse novels are character-driven and often present multiple voices or points of view. Here, a single voice relays the events through thought and action. The reader needs to fill in the details normally found in the exposition.

  •  

    In small book club groups, discuss what you notice about the way the information is presented. Explore titles, use of language, level of detail and other text conventions.

  •  

    Use this text as part of a genre study of novels in verse. Select a topic and choose a few texts to explore. Collect and analyze the information. Share the information with peers in a multimodal presentation.

  •  

    In teams, discuss whether you agree or disagree with second chances. Also consider books, movies and songs you know that address this theme.

  •  

    Create a diagram to show how the theme of second chances applies to each of the characters.

  •  

    Use this text as part of a genre study of novels in verse. Select a topic and choose a few texts to explore. After analyzing the information, share it with peers in a multimodal presentation.

  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To use information
  • To use information and communications technologies
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Personal Development