Red Glass

Red Glass

4.03 (1,892 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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With a dazzling and thoughtful voice, this critically acclaimed novel deals directly with the challenges and dangers of immigration, exploring the ties that bind us together in an age when issues threaten to divide us.

One night Sophie and her parents are called to a hospital where Pedro, a six-year-old Mexican boy, is recovering from dehydration. Crossing the border into Arizona with a group of Mexicans and a coyote, or guide, Pedro and his parents faced such harsh conditions that the boy is the only survivor. Pedro comes to live with Sophie, her parents, and Sophie's Aunt Dika, a refugee of the war in Bosnia.

Sophie loves Pedro--her Principito, or Little Prince. But after a year, Pedro's surviving family in Mexico makes contact, and Sophie, Dika, Dika's new boyfriend, and his son must travel with Pedro to his hometown so that he can make a heartwrenching decision.

An IRA Award Winner
An Américas Award Honor Book
An ALA-YALSA Best Book for Young Adults
A Colorado Book Award Winner
A Cybil Award Finalist
A School Library Journal Best Book
An Oprah's Kids' Reading List Selection
A CCBC Choice List Selection
A Richie's Pick

★ "A captivating read."--School Library Journal, Starred Review

★ The vivid characters, the fine imagery, and the satisfying story arc make this a rewarding novel. -Booklist, Starred Review

★ The prose captivates from the first chapter ... a vibrant, large-hearted story. -Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 133 x 203 x 17mm | 221g
  • Random House Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0440240255
  • 9780440240259
  • 767,301

Review quote

Suffused with the region's vibrant colors, Resau's (What the Moon Saw) memorable novel deftly blends Latin America's richness and mystery with the brutal realities its emigrants carry away... The prose captivates from the first chapter... Central themes of fear and emotional survival permeate the multilayered plot... A mystical overlay from the practices of Pablo's Mixtec relatives adds even more luster to a vibrant, large-hearted story. -Publishers Weekly, STARRED, Featured Book on PW's Children's Bookshelf

The author's love for the culture and physical setting of rural Oaxaca and northern Guatemala is shown in beautiful, descriptive detail. Rich, poetic language, elements of the hero quest story pattern, and quotations from St. Exupéry's The Little Prince are braided through this coming-of-age romance as Sophie grows from amorphous onlooker into a strong, risk-taking young woman. Secondary characters, especially the 60-year-old Dika and her boyfriend, Mr. Lorenzo, are well developed. Readers will sympathize with Pablo and agonize as he chooses whether to stay in Mexico or return to Sophie's family in Arizona. The satisfying love stories and moving glimpse of the immigrant experience make this a captivating read. -School Library Journal, STARRED

Resau works her magic again in this compelling first-person narrative. Full of longing and trepidation, Sophie is limited at the beginning of the story. But as she travels and comes to understand people better; life-altering perspectives awaken a newfound courage. -Booklist, STARRED

The characters are so compelling and sympathetic that the reader really cares how they all fare. Emotionally charged and powerful. -Kirkus Reviews

Resau, who capably treats the topic of self-discovery in her first novel, What The Moon Saw, continues along similar lines here, with poignant descriptions of illegal border crossings and guerilla warfare providing a substantive background for the foreground story of coming into one's own and joining the larger organism that is one's family. The book is strengthened by a core of storytelling and intertextuality (Angel tells personal narratives in the car, Sophie reads aloud from Pablo Neruda and e.e. cummings, and each of seven parts is prefaced by a passage from The Little Prince) and suspense (which family will Pablo choose? How will Sophie overcome her fears?). An unexpectedly empowering moment that has Sophie laughing in the face of a filthy washroom is truly liberating and uplifting, and her new fearlessness should prove bolstering for readers who are on their way to discovering their own inner chispa, or spark. -Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

The characters in this book are all delightful. They are warm and real, with varying degrees of unconventional... The are quite different from each other, but still they connect... The reader becomes very close to them... The themes of civil violence, a desire to better one's life, and the dilemma of how to do it-legally or illegally-make it a great book for class discussions on current events... The writing is so rich that it would also be a great read-aloud. -VOYA
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About Laura Resau

Laura Resau lived in the Mixtec region of Oaxaca, Mexico, for two years as an English teacher and anthropologist. She now lives with her husband and her dog in Colorado. She is the author of What the Moon Saw, Red Glass, Star in the Forest, The Queen of Water, the Notebooks series, and The Lightning Queen.

Visit her online at and follow @lauraresau on Instagram and Twitter.
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Rating details

1,892 ratings
4.03 out of 5 stars
5 37% (701)
4 38% (724)
3 18% (342)
2 4% (82)
1 2% (43)

Our customer reviews

Laura Resau's RED GLASS was an amazing read. It's a wonderful mixture of excerpts from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's THE LITTLE PRINCE, eccentric people, political unrest, and magical fortunes folded into a cross-continental summer road trip. Sophie is an amoeba, a free-floating spirit who is not attached to anything besides her family and her books. Then one night she picks up a phone call from the hospital. Seven Mexican migrants and their guide have died crossing the Arizona border. The lone survivor is a six-year-old boy named Pablo who had Sophie's stepfather's business card in his pocket. Pablo comes to live with Sophie, her parents, and Sophie's great aunt Dika, a Bosnian war refugee. Sophie grows to love her Principito, or Little Prince, but after a year her parents get in contact with Pablo's remaining family in Mexico. Over the summer, Sophie, Dika, Dika's boyfriend, and his son must take Pablo back to his hometown so that he can choose between his new family and his birth family. The trip is hard at first, because Sophie is afraid that anything and everything will go wrong. But the stories and the struggles of her companions change her perception of danger and she grows attached to Ángel despite her fears that she will lose him. When a terrible accident occurs, Sophie is forced to make a dangerous trip by herself. On the way, she realizes that while life has its risks, it is still beautiful and even fun. I loved this book. One of the things that was really well done was how it was multi-cultural without being culturally exclusive. Even though some of the dialogue was written in Spanish, it was still easy to read. But the best part of the book was its characters. They are both hilarious and tragic, but never melodramatic. At times, I felt as if author Laura Resau was in my head. Teens will identify with Sophie as one of their own. *Gold Star Award Winner!show more
by TeensReadToo
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