Thursday, January 24, 2008

Red Glass

Resau, Laura. 2007. RED GLASS. New York: Random House. ISBN 9780385734660 [Suggested Grade Levels 6-12]

Living just across the Mexican border in Arizona, Sophie's house has often been an unscheduled rest stop for immigrants struggling through the desert to the United States. A phone call one night from border patrol reveals the sole survivor of a group attempting the crossing is a six year old boy with Sophie's stepfather Juan's business card in his pocket. Pablo, or "Principito" as Sophie calls him, doesn't speak at first, but after months with Sophie's family, he reveals the name of his village, which sets in motion an effort to find his relatives and a trek through Mexico and into Guatemala. The trip is set in motion by great aunt Dika, a Bosnian war refugee whose larger than life personality has graced Sophie's house for the last six months, Dika's new boyfriend, Mr. Lorenzo, and his teenage son Angel. Along the way, Sophie realizes that her long list of fears (car wrecks and sharp rocks, to name a few) pale in comparison with the issues faced by each member of their ragtag group.
Bringing together unusual characters into a setting both heartwarming and heartbreaking, Resau forces the reader to ponder what constitutes a family. Does a family have to be related by blood, or can it be the people that provide love and support no matter what? What does it take to overcome past tragedies? Through Sophie's eyes, readers will see that having the courage to follow your heart is a great reward.

Encourage readers to write a passage about a traumatic event in their lives and what they did to resolve the situation.

Other books about border crossings:
Broach, Elise. DESERT CROSSING. ISBN 0805077626
Lopez, Jack. IN THE BREAK. ISBN 0316008745

By Tammy Korns

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