In That Boy Red, author Rachna Gilmore has created a charming portrait of life on Prince Edward Island during the Depression. Eleven-year-old Red works hard on the farm alongside his father and brothers as they struggle to pay the bills and put food on the table while the boys also keep up with their studies. Yet there is still time for the occasional afternoon fishing trip or a well-earned swim at the local swimming hole. Then, when tragedy strikes and Pa gets hurt, Red must find new ways to help his family. This he does and, while he also gets into his fair share of trouble, at the end of the day he usually manages to make his parents proud… and maybe learn a valuable life lesson or two in the process.
Gilmore has not only given readers a winsome protagonist but has also captured a strong sense of time and place in her latest book. While she creates a vivid picture of the Island and its many pastoral charms, she also astutely conveys the strong sense of community and close family ties that typify many rural communities both past and present. Young readers will enjoy discovering Red’s world while perhaps recognizing aspects of their own communities therein.
Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Summer 2011. Volume 34 No. 3.
During the Depression, 11-year-old Red lives with his family on a PEI farm. Hard working and resourceful, they have enough for themselves and to help others. When Red’s father is seriously injured, he must finish the tobacco boxes that his father makes and help shovel a train out of the snow. Stubborn and pig-headed, Red makes many mistakes, but his heart is always in the right place.
Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. Fall, 2012.