Moving to Hawthorne was something Tess and her mom never anticipated, but after Tess’s mom loses her job, it’s their only option. Tess’s grandparents welcome them into their home, but with the condition that Tess and her mom attend church, something Mom isn’t too pleased about. But Tess enjoys the church community, finding a place in youth group and the church choir. Faith fills a void Tess didn’t know she had.
After a very personal decision goes public, Tess faces daily harassment and rejection by her former friends, and singing in the church choir is no longer an option. When she meets some kids in the music room, her only place of solace in the school, who don’t judge her for what’s happened, she learns to find her voice again. Against the backdrop of the Spirit Light Festival, Tess will need to find the strength to speak out if she has any chance of ending a silent cycle of abuse in Hawthorne.
Praise for Red
“Keenly felt and achingly timely, Red is a must-read for anyone who has ever struggled to sing out.”
—Katie Cotugno, New York Times bestselling author of 99 Days
“Annie Cardi crafts a deft explanation of faith, friendship, and the many ways we can show grace to one another.” —Paste Magazine
“Annie Cardi’s beautifully written story about reproduction rights is a multilayered read that speaks of religious hypocrisy while also exploring how a teen can rise above tragedy to become new and magnificent. I devoured it in one sitting.”
––Sharon Biggs Waller, author of Girls on the Verge
“Cardi’s reinterpretation of The Scarlet Letter handles Tess and Alden’s relationship with nuance and compassion . . . . Secondary characters are given depth as well; neither her friends nor grandparents are depicted as merely reactionary zealots, but rather people with deeply held beliefs that are then upended by their love for Tess. Paired with All the Fighting Parts, this makes an excellent exploration of the power wielded by abusive religious leaders and how girls are too often taken with them when they fall from grace.”
––Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“[A] timely story. No doubt Red will end up being one of the most talked-about books in 2024.”
“A heartfelt tale of an ostracized teen who finds caring people and a way through trauma.”
“This modern remix of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne takes on the misogyny, abuse, and hypocrisy that can take place in some strict religious circles. Although Tess endures being slut-shamed, vilified, and repeatedly maligned, she digs deep—determined to keep moving forward . . . . Readers will feel gratified as Tess gradually finds ways to speak up about multiple misdeeds perpetrated against her. An encouraging view of finding ways to connect and climb again post-trauma. Purchase this retelling.”
––School Library Journal
“Tess’s thoughtfully wrought spirituality evolves alongside her emotional growth, culminating in a resolution that showcases the impact of community, and how their genuine support works to affirm, empower, and offer hope for sexual violence survivors.”