A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
A couple of mentions of Sun Tzu's Art of War could lead to further exploration.
The importance of doing the right thing.
Positive Role Models
Svetlana has a sense of superiority and is a bit snarky in the beginning, but not directly to others. She and her classmates are good, funny kids. The adults in the story are supportive, especially Ms. Bones, who takes Svetlana under her wing to develop her gift.
Violence & Scariness
Three girls are kidnapped for the purpose of drinking their blood. A mention of a teacher found murdered. A child falls out of a window and breaks his arm. Svetlana is almost poisoned and she is almost run over by a van. Svetlana and her friends try to kill a vampire, but there is no gore.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this vampire read for middle graders is pretty mild for the genre. The violence is gore-free: a kidnapping, an almost-poisoning, someone falls out a window and breaks his arm, and an attempt to kill a vampire.
Is It Any Good?
A TASTE FOR RED is a very quick, entertaining read. The mystery goes along at a good pace and kids will be excited to see how it all turns out. Creepy and funny, Svetlana's Sunny Hill middle school will remind readers of Buffy Summers' Sunnydale high school. It's always great to see a female protagonist and Svetlana doesn't let us down.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.