The Red Kayak by Priscilla Cummings
The storyteller, Brady, lives on the Chesapeake Bay. His father is a crab and oyster fisherman and he has two best friends, Digger and J.T. One day Brady sees the neighbor’s red kayak on the water while waiting for a ride to school. He debates whether to yell and tell them it’s too dangerous to be out, but his friends convince him they will be fine. Brady is pulled out of school by his father later that morning because the kayak hadn’t returned home.
The search and rescue teams head out on the river to look for the mother & her son, Ben. Brady finds Ben and tries to resuscitate him while driving the boat back to the shore. By the time he gets there the rescue workers have a pulse and Brady is hailed as a hero for the rest of the day.
Then things begin to go wrong and he starts to suspect that the kayak sinking wasn’t an accident. Now Brady has to make very difficult decisions. His father His father helps him decide that finding the right decision is easy, it’s just hard to act on it.
This book was captivating in the way the story was revealed and in how it was explained.
The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
The book combines classical mythology with everyday teen angst. The three main characters are Leo Valdez, son of a mechanic and the god Hephaestus, Piper McLean, daughter of a Cherokee movie star and the goddess Aphrodite, and Jason, son of Jupiter. Since they are the new kids at Camp Halfblood, they immediately are chosen to go on a quest. The each of the characters tells the story from their point of view. And at 553 pages that is a lot of view points.
Aaron really enjoyed the Percy Jackson series and other Rick Riordan books and he had already read The Lost Hero when it was assigned to us. I had a harder time getting in to the mythology of this book as it mixed together Greek & Roman deities.
We both loved The Red Kayak. It brought me to tears many times. It really addresses responsibility, choices and making those hard decisions that will affect your life and the lives of your friends.
We think that The Red Kayak should move to round 4!