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Red
Cover of Red
Red

"Smart, funny, and full of awesome . . . everything I look for in a book."
—Rachel Hawkins, New York Times bestselling author of the Hex Hall series

Felicity St. John has it all: loyal best friends, a hot guy, and artistic talent. And she's right on track to win the Miss Scarlet pageant. Her perfect life is possible because of just one thing: her long, wavy, coppery red hair.

Redheads hold all the power in Scarletville—and everybody knows it. That's why Felicity is scared down to her roots when she receives an anonymous note: I know your secret.

Because Felicity is a big fake. Her hair color comes straight out of a bottle. And if anyone discovers the truth, she'll be a social outcast faster than she can say strawberry blond.

Felicity isn't about to let someone blackmail her life away. But just how far is she willing to go to protect her red cred?

"As thought-provoking as it is enchanting." —Rae Carson, author of the Fire and Thorns trilogy

"Clever, wickedly funny, and with so much heart." —Melina Marchetta, author of Jellicoe Road, a Michael L. Printz award winner

"Smart, funny, and full of awesome . . . everything I look for in a book."
—Rachel Hawkins, New York Times bestselling author of the Hex Hall series

Felicity St. John has it all: loyal best friends, a hot guy, and artistic talent. And she's right on track to win the Miss Scarlet pageant. Her perfect life is possible because of just one thing: her long, wavy, coppery red hair.

Redheads hold all the power in Scarletville—and everybody knows it. That's why Felicity is scared down to her roots when she receives an anonymous note: I know your secret.

Because Felicity is a big fake. Her hair color comes straight out of a bottle. And if anyone discovers the truth, she'll be a social outcast faster than she can say strawberry blond.

Felicity isn't about to let someone blackmail her life away. But just how far is she willing to go to protect her red cred?

"As thought-provoking as it is enchanting." —Rae Carson, author of the Fire and Thorns trilogy

"Clever, wickedly funny, and with so much heart." —Melina Marchetta, author of Jellicoe Road, a Michael L. Printz award winner

Available formats-
  • Kindle Book
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Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    0
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
    840
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:
    4 - 5

Recommended for you

Excerpts-
  • From the book 1

    SUNDAY, MAY 2

    The banner fluttering in the breeze outside City Hall read SCARLETVILLE, IOWA: NATIONAL REDHEAD SANCTUARY.

    Felicity St. John, who had lived in Scarletville all her life, couldn't even begin to guess how many times she had encountered the phrase "national redhead sanctuary." It blasted from her clock radio every morning, repeated over and over by the DJs at Scarletville's classic rock station, KRED. It was printed under the masthead on the town's newspaper, the Scarletville Gazette. It was etched onto a plaque on the front of Scarletville High School. And Felicity was probably going to hear the clichéd phrase a hundred times more today.

    It was Scarlet Sunday, the anniversary of the founding of Scarletville, and the yearly carnival was in full swing. The lampposts in the center of town were festooned with red flowers, and the breeze carried the popcorn-and-fried-dough smell of celebration. The town was turning seventy-five this year, and the mayor's carnival committee had really outdone itself. Main Street was lined with food vendors, game booths, and displays of local crafts, as it was every May. But this year, the number of rides in the town square had tripled, and they were significantly more terrifying than usual. Felicity couldn't even look at the paralyzing vortex of doom called Zero Gravity without feeling slightly ill. Her twin half brothers, on the other hand, had no such qualms. From all the way across the plaza, she could hear Andy's and Tyler's seven-year-old voices shrieking with joy as the flying swings whipped them around in dizzying circles. Felicity hoped they would keep their cotton candy securely in their stomachs, but judging from past carnivals, it was highly unlikely.

    The mayor must have publicized Scarletville's anniversary quite aggressively this time around—the dinky local press was there, of course, but there were also representatives from neighboring towns, including a reporter from the Des Moines Register. Right now, all the reporters and a sizable portion of the town's population were gathered in front of the grandstand, where the mayor was holding a press conference. He was just finishing his opening remarks, using the same speech he always gave on Scarlet Sunday. Felicity and her best friends, Haylie and Ivy, had heard it so many times they could recite it along with him.

    "Less than four percent of the world's population is blessed with red hair, and in my grandfather's day, those redheads were scattered far and wide across the globe!" boomed the mayor. "And to add insult to injury, these poor scattered redheads were often much maligned in their communities, where they were considered oddballs and curiosities. Our priceless recessive genes would have been bred out of existence within fifty years had no one stepped up to prevent it! But my forward-thinking grandfather saw that we should bond together in solidarity, making precious redheaded children and raising them in a safe, supportive environment. Let's hear it for Scarletville, our nation's one and only redhead sanctuary!" The crowd applauded wildly, as it always did.

    When the mayor finished the Gospel of Scarletville, reporters peppered him with questions about the town's history and redheadedness in general. A small blond journalist raised her hand high. "Mayor Redding!" she called. "How would you respond to the accusation that Scarletville discriminates against people with other hair colors, particularly among the younger generations? According to my sources, the student council, the Scholastic Bowl, the cheerleading squad, and several of the athletic teams at the high school are composed exclusively of...
About the Author-
  • Alison Cherry, author of Red, For Real, Look Both Ways, and The Classy Crooks Club, grew up in a suburb of Chicago and graduated from Harvard. She is a professional photographer and worked as a lighting designer for theater, dance, and opera productions for many years. During that time, she spent six months in the magical, exhausting world of summer stock theater, where everyone works 120 hours a week and survives on a mysterious elixir of caffeine, sugar, and adrenaline. Eleven years later, she's still trying to catch up on sleep. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
    alisoncherrybooks.com
    Follow @alison_cherry on Twitter and @alison_cherry on Instagram
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 9, 2013
    Felicity St. John hails from Scarletville, Iowa, a town that prides itself on its redheaded residents, where high school students take classes like “History of Redheadedness.” Discrimination in favor of gingers is par for the course, especially as the town gears up for the all-important Miss Scarlet Pageant. Though Felicity qualified for one of the coveted 12 spots, she has a terrible secret: her “bright coppery red” hair is fake. When someone threatens to out Felicity as an “artie,” she allows herself to be blackmailed into actions that hurt herself and the people around her. Debut author Cherry’s writing sparkles with wit, and she cleverly uses Scarletville’s obsession with redheadedness to raise questions about typical high school politics and the ways people determine what is beautiful, good, and worthy of popularity—all with a satirical wink to readers. Felicity is sympathetic and relatable as she struggles with the warped values instilled in her, the repercussions of having to hide her “embarrassing flaw,” and other ideas about beauty, romance, and the world beyond Scarletville. Ages 12–up. Agent: Holly Root, Waxman Leavell Literary Agency.

  • Kirkus

    September 15, 2013
    In a town where being a redhead is everything, a teen struggles with her identity. In the book's unsubtle analogy to the theme of racial inequality, Scarletville's residents profess no prejudice toward those not redheaded, but reality proves otherwise. No dissident, Felicity's mother has spent years prepping her daughter to win the popular Miss Scarlet pageant, but she's also been secretly having Felicity's below-par strawberry locks dyed just the right copper red. Felicity has performed well and won many pageants to please her superficial mother, but her mother's discouraging attitude toward Felicity's pursuit of studio art causes growing resentment. Though she has remained with her hunky, superficial boyfriend, Felicity is attracted to Jonathan, a talented art student and a staunch supporter of rights for blonds and brunettes, as well as redheads. The real trouble starts when Felicity's dye job is discovered. Felicity's efforts in support of hair-color equality begin only when her own rights have been trampled--they are more self-serving than altruistic. There's not a lot of rich nor particularly original description here, and many analogies are stretched farther than a jumbo-sized hair elastic. Though the ending isn't predictable, it isn't satisfying enough to justify this long journey. And it's hard to get past the laughable premise; if this were a futuristic novel in which oppression was the law or even if it were simply exaggerated more for effect, it would be easier to buy. Not satiric enough to succeed in its evident aim. (Fiction. 12 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    October 1, 2013

    Gr 8 Up-When you live in a town that was founded as a refuge for misunderstood redheads, well, you better be a ginger. Felicity St. John, popular junior at Scarletville High School and nominee for this year's Miss Scarlet pageant, lives in fear that her deepest secret will be revealed. Her copper locks are really a dye job-she's naturally strawberry blonde. With a mother who is a past Miss Scarlet, the truth is just unacceptable and so Felicity has been going to the top-secret Rouge-o-Rama salon to get her hair colored since she was two years old. As the pageant approaches, though, Felicity finds she doesn't really care about winning. Her devotion to her mother's obsession with having her daughter follow in her footsteps is truly tested when someone begins to blackmail Felicity, threatening to let everyone know she's a fake. Soon she finds herself acting completely out of character, doing things that could cost her her friends and boyfriend, all just to protect a secret that she's starting to be tired of keeping. At first Cherry's novel may seem to have a somewhat silly premise, but underneath the "ginger" focus, there is a really strong commentary on superficiality and social standing. Readers will find themselves questioning the distribution of power based on appearance and the lengths that people will go to in order to protect their deepest secrets. Inner strength and self-acceptance are also strong themes that run throughout the book. While readers may giggle their way through this fast-paced tale, they will also find themselves thinking about it.-Jessica Miller, West Springfield Public Library, MA

    Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • DOGO Books angryoldlegend - I wanna read it but my sister said its hers so I think that means that I can't read it😖😖😖😖
  • Booklist "This may challenge readers to reconsider how they define beauty--and perhaps give them the confidence to question a pecking order or two."
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    Random House Children's Books
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