Booktalk: Looking for Red by Angela Johnson

I’m a big fan of books by Angela Johnson, and her novels always feature beautiful writing and well-drawn young protagonists.  Looking for Red is one of my favorite books of hers, and I’m also a fan of Bird, which I booktalked on an earlier episode.  BTW, this booktalk is one of the few I’ve written that includes a line from the book itself (the one about the room full of broken glass).


Mike has always loved the ocean, but she loves her brother Red even more.   All of her favorite memories were of the two of them together, whether they were fishing, diving, or cruising up and down the coast.  Mike and Red were inseparable, and that’s why her life has been upside down for the past three months.  Because it was three months ago that Red disappeared.

She still sees him sometimes, leaning against the shed or talking to her in her dreams.  And she’s not the only one who remembers him; his best friend Mark and his girlfriend Mona remember him too.  Everyone has been affected by Red’s disappearance, but no one more than Mike, Mark, and Mona.  Because only these three people know what really happened to Red, and only they will have that memory to carry with them for the rest of their lives.

When someone you love goes away, it’s like walking barefoot in a room full of broken glass.  And these three people will feel that way forever.

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