Monday, May 2, 2011
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!
Posted by Miss K at 3:10 AM