Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 10 to 14
- Grade: 5 to 9
It’s the Depression, but Red’s family is managing better thanmost on their Prince Edward Island farm. Hard working andresourceful, they have enough to eat and to help others, evenif at times they are mocked by their neighbours for puttingeducation ahead of farm work. Eleven-year-old Red has plentyof chores around the farm, and the days can be long, but hestill gets the odd break to go swimming or fishing, provided hishomework is done. Red’s older sister, Ellen, teaches at the localschool, and if Red doesn’t shine, she will not only punish him,but also make sure their parents hear about it.
But then Red’s father’s hand is seriously injured and thefamily’s situation looks dire. Red steps up to the challenge,finishing the tobacco boxes that his father makes and helpingshovel out a train stuck in the snow. Stubborn and even pigheaded,Red does make mistakes along the way (such as pretendingto be dead so that his younger sister will stop followinghim), but his heart is always in the right place.
About the author
Rachna Gilmore is the critically acclaimed Governor General's Award winning author of numerous books with multiple honours and awards. Her publications include picture books, early readers, middle grade and young adult novels, as well as adult fiction. Her books are sold internationally with translations in French, Danish, German, Korean, Dutch, Spanish, Urdu, Bengali, Chinese as well as several other languages.
Rachna's fantasy novel, The Sower of Tales, won the National Chapter IODE Violet Downey Book Award, and was nominated for the Red Maple Award and the Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award. Her YA novel, A Group of One, (published by Henry Holt, and now available in paperback in Canada, published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside) received a Jane Addams Children's Book Award Honor citation and was included in the New York Public Library's Best Books for the Teen Age list.
A student of life, Rachna loves to explore the ideas that spark and seize her imagination, as well as to play with words. She calls the process of creating books plarking - work, she says, is too tedious and grinding a word to describe the delight of the creative process, and play doesn't quite convey the real time and effort that goes into completing a book, whereas plarking covers it all, especially as it also reflects the joy and song of larking about.
Born in India, Rachna has lived in London, England, Prince Edward Island, and now lives in Ottawa. A skilled and experienced presenter, Rachna loves to share her enthusiasm for reading and writing; she has given readings and workshops in schools, libraries and conferences across the country as well as internationally.