Scarlet Ibis by Gill Lewis, Illustrated by Susan Meyer
BIBLIO: 2014,Atheneum Books for Young Readers: an Imprint of Simon and Schuster. 9-14.
REVIEWER: Gwen Harter.
FORMAT: Middle School
Scarlet and Red live with their mother in an apartment in London. Scarlet is the head of the house as she cares for both her autistic brother and depressed mother and struggles to keep child protective services at bay. Red has a fascination with birds that Scarlet readily encourages by watching the bird’s nest outside of his window, collecting feathers, and taking him to the zoo once a month with the help of some kind people.
Everything changes for Scarlet’s little family through a series of events that ends up separating them. Scarlet must adjust to living with her new foster family, Renee, Theo, Jez, and Avril. With the new family, Scarlet also goes to a new school and must learn to make friends, and sometimes with unlikely strangers,like the bird lady, Madame Popescu. Ultimately though,Scarlet thoughts are consumed with trying to reunite herself with Red.
Scarlet slowly comes to realize what may be best for her is not what she dreams of. In the end, everything works out just the way it needs to give everyone a future they deserve.