Dark and Deepest Red
Dark and Deepest Red
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Catalog Number: #204996
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 309 pages
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: 1-250-16274-2
ISBN 13: 978-1-250-16274-8
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2019940845
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up The story begins in the present day describing Rosella Oliva's fifth-generation shoe-making family during their town's yearly "glimmer": a time of magical happenings one week every October. This time of year the shoes they craft overtake their wearers resulting in impulsive acts of love and desire. To understand why this occurs, readers will travel back to the summer of 1518, when an illness sweeps through Strasbourg, France, causing women to dance uncontrollably until death. Believing that witchcraft or demonic influence is responsible, the authorities blame an unassuming family of Romani descent and endeavor to cast out the evil in their midst. The stories and characters intertwine in short chapters of lush prose and two complex story lines. Rosella and her friend Emil must decide to what extent their respective family histories and the event of 500 years ago will affect their present lives. The author uses Hans Christian Andersen's morality tale "The Red Shoes" as the basis for an original exploration of hidden sexuality in times past to guide readers' understanding of LGBTQ issues today. It is a powerful exposé of how differences are misunderstood, judged, and villainized by fear. References to Romani culture/language and early hints at a character's sexual ambiguity are initially confusing but later clarified. The abrupt transitions back and forth in time become smoother as plotlines and personalities take shape in the author's sympathetic, heartfelt storytelling. VERDICT A bold contemporary journey into generational secrets and perceptions of evil and otherness. Not just for fans of fairy tale fantasies, socially conscious teens will find plenty to grapple with here. Jane Miller, Nashville Public Library
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School Library Journal (1/1/20)
Reading Level: 7.0
Interest Level: 7-12

With Anna-Marie McLemore's signature lush prose, Dark and Deepest Red pairs the forbidding magic of a fairy tale with a modern story of passion and betrayal. Summer, 1518. A strange sickness sweeps through Strasbourg: women dance in the streets, some until they fall down dead. As rumors of witchcraft spread, suspicion turns toward Lavinia and her family, and Lavinia may have to do the unimaginable to save herself and everyone she loves. Five centuries later, a pair of red shoes seal to Rosella Oliva's feet, making her dance uncontrollably. They draw her toward a boy who knows the dancing fever's history better than anyone: Emil, whose family was blamed for the fever five hundred years ago. But there's more to what happened in 1518 than even Emil knows, and discovering the truth may decide whether Rosella survives the red shoes.

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