Mud in her mouth, her nose and her eyes. Mud in her hair and caked on her neck and her arms. Mud filling her shoes and seeping through her clothes. She lay sprawled on her side, a garbled, barely distinct sound coming from her: ‘Jaymartinjaymartin’. One eye opened, then the other. She coughed, spat, tried to clear her throat. Mud was stuck to her tongue, her gums and the top of her mouth. Still she said the words ‘Jaymartinjaymartin.’
When Red wakes up, muddy and muddled, she has no idea who she is, where she is or even how she got there. Her new friend Peri helps her navigate the strange new world of a Sydney partly destroyed by a terrible cyclone. But although Peri gives her her new name, he can’t give Red back her lost memory, and without that, she has no idea how she can find her family, if she has one.
As memories slowly return, Red realises that the cyclone isn’t the only threat to her survival. Something else happened, long before the cyclone, that took Red away from Sydney. If she can figure out what it is she might figure out exactly who she is and where her family are. First, tough ,she has to decide who she can trust.
Red is an exciting new tale from much-loved author Libby Gleeson. The pace is fast, the mystery absorbing and the dilemma of amnesia and displacement one which will intrigue young readers. Red and her friends Peri and Jazz are diverse and likable, willing to take chances and to work together.
Suitable for readers aged ten and over, Red is an outstanding offering.
Red, by Libby Gleeson
Allen & Uniwn, 2012
This book is available from good bookstores or online from Fishpond.