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The Red Shoe Hardcover – 1 May 2007
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- Publisher : Roaring Brook (1 May 2007)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 179 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1596432659
- ISBN-13 : 978-1596432659
- Dimensions : 13.97 x 2.34 x 22.1 cm
- Customer Reviews:
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Top review from Australia
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‘In a house far away, right at the end of a long dusty road deep in the bush at the back of Palm Beach, lived three sisters with their mother, their father, and sometimes their Uncle Paul. The three sisters were called Elizabeth, Frances and Matilda.’
Mostly we see the story through Matilda’s point of view which, as Matilda is only six, provides an interesting perspective. Frances is eleven and Elizabeth is fifteen. Each day is heralded in with news headlines, so we read about new cases in the polio epidemic and the Petrov Affair. Against this backdrop, Frances worries about a school friend with polio, Elizabeth wonders about Mrs Petrov and Matilda observes all manner of things.
This is a beautifully written book. I loved the way that six-year-old Matilda could observe so much without always being able to make sense of what she saw. I felt for Frances and hoped that Elizabeth would be okay. I worried about the girls’ father and wondered about how much the mother relied on Uncle Paul. I really enjoyed the news headlines and how Ms Dubosarsky built aspects of those stories into this book.
There are some lovely scenes, and some near tragic ones. I think that this book does a really good job of bringing aspects of living in 1954 to life. But don’t take my word for it, read it for yourself. It’s a book written for a young audience (I’d suggest 12 and older), with several quite serious themes. But it’s also a book that those of us who are older can relate to.
Top reviews from other countries
I think any girls aged 12+ would thoroughly enjoy this book.
The Red Shoe by Ursula Dubosarsky takes place in Sydney, Australia, April 1954 ( during the Cold War), at a time of a famous political scandal in Australian history known as The Petrov Affair.
I had no idea what the Petrov Affair was when I bought the book. Actually, the fact that I knew so little about a famous political scandal is the reason I made the purchase.
When I received The Red Shoe, I was surprised to see the size of it. It’s a teeny, tiny book of under 200 pages. I soon understood that this was, in fact, a children’s book.
Though I was expecting something a bit more elaborate , I enjoyed the The Red Shoe. Putting myself in a child’s mindset, I thought it was a good read about Matilda and her sisters, living life as it was during the Cold War. On top of Matilda’s troubles at home, we also come to realize that a Russian spy defection is taking place next door to her.
Ursula does a wonderful job putting together a children’s novel that explains a complex event in a simple matter. Alternating between story and newspaper clippings, she succeeds in bringing the event to life.
Although the story wasn’t what I expected, I thoroughly enjoyed The Red Shoe. It’s a beautiful novel about a troubled family during hard times.