Monday, May 2, 2011

Sisters Red

I had to make the cover larger for this review because it really is one of the best that I have seen in a long time. At various points in my reading, I closed the book just to look at the cover again. It also jumped to the top of my reading list once that cover was in my house!

I just learned that I will be teaching 6th grade next year, which means I should focus on lower level books. But I can't help it! My favorite books are written for fourteen year olds who wish they were eighteen, also known as "racy books" by some former, hilarious students.

Jackson Pearce's novel has some racy elements, but is actually tamer than I expected. A modern retelling of Red Riding Hood, Sisters Red tells the story of Scarlett and Rosie March, orphaned girls who hunt the werewolves of Georgia with hatchets and knives.  The novel centers around their sisterhood and how their childhood roles have defined them. Scarlett, who lost an eye and was covered in scars while defending her sister, is the Hunter who is brave, passionate, and obsessed. Rosie is the gentler sister, a skilled fighter but interested in life outside the hunt. The sisters are often described as two halfs of the same heart, which turns out to be very interesting when Rosie falls in love with Silas, Scarlett's hunting partner.

There is a lot of controversy over the idea of the sisters using themselves (with makeup, clothing, and perfume) as "bait". To be honest, I never thought of this as I was reading the book and doubt that my students would either. It would be an interesting conversation topic with advanced readers: is Jackson adding to the ridiculousness of "asking for it" or are her characters owning their sexuality? When viewing the novel with this lens, there are parts that are questionable. Still, I really enjoyed Sisters Red; the writing was tight, the action was gripping, and the characters were fascinating. I can't wait for someone I know to read this so we can discuss it!

3 comments:

  1. Sounds like an interesting read. I always love covers that catch my attention so much that I just can't help staring at the glossy covers at various points throughout the readings. Not being able to see the covers in their full glory is one of the main drawbacks of Kindle books; yet, I love most other aspects of the new format.

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  2. I also forgot to ask which country you will be in for next year? I hope that you enjoy your 6th graders. I too find myself drawn to older YA, even if it is not the best fit for many of my students.

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  3. I'm in the US for the first time in 8 years! It's really exciting to be back. I'm living in SC and getting my MAT in middle school English.

    Sisters Red is the first in a trilogy (I believe), so I am looking forward to part 2.

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