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Dark and Deepest Red

By: Anna-Marie McLemore

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’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 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.

Dark and Deepest Red pairs the forbidding magic of a fairy tale with a modern story of passion and betrayal.

Author’s note.

ISBN: 9781250162748

JLG Release: May 2020


Sensitive Areas: Discrimination: Gender Identity, Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism, Sexual Content: Strong Sexual Content/Themes, Violence: General
Topics: Romance , Fantasy and magic , Sixteenth-century history of France , Strasbourg, France , Romani people , Transgender people , LGBTQ , Dancing , Curses , Shoes , Hispanic and Latino Americans

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Booklist*, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

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 wil 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. 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.

Book Details

ISBN

9781250162748

First Release

May 2020

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

8 1/4" x 5 1/3"

Page Count

320

Accelerated Reader

Level 5.9; Points: 11;

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Feiwel & Friends

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Discrimination: Gender Identity, Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism, Sexual Content: Strong Sexual Content/Themes, Violence: General

Topics

Romance, Fantasy and magic, Sixteenth-century history of France, Strasbourg, France, Romani people, Transgender people, LGBTQ, Dancing, Curses, Shoes, Hispanic and Latino Americans,

Standard MARC Record

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Cover Art

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