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Red Kayak by Priscilla Cummings

By , Norridge, IL

Are you in search for a good book to read? Well, Red Kayak, a novel written by Priscilla Cummings, is a very good book in my opinion. I think others will agree with me after they read this book. This is a young adult fiction novel, written for middle schoolers. It takes place on the Chesapeake Bay in modern times, Maryland. It also takes place on the Corsica River.


The major character of the story, Brady, is a 13-year-old boy, that is caring and worries about others. He is very responsible and loves his family and friends. He is the average looking boy, but it doesn’t say much about his appearance. Brady is a lot different than his friends. Both of his friends are trouble-makers, and usually want to do bad things. On the other hand, Brady worries about these kinds of things, and as a result of this, he doesn’t get in trouble that much.


Brady is also very helpful and, likes to help out. He had a baby sister that died when she was little, so he has a special bond with his new neighbor, Ben, a 3-year-old he babysits.


There are also a lot of minor characters included in this book. Digger, one of Brady’s best friends, is a tough, physically strong boy that is very protective of his family. He is a big trouble-maker, but can have a soft side. J.T., Brady’s other best friend, does whatever anyone tells him to do, and he is also a pretty big trouble-maker, but knows right from wrong. Mr. and Mrs. DiAngelo are Brady’s new neighbors, and Ben is their 3-year-old son.
In the beginning of the story, rich new families start moving into the area, and Brady’s friends are not happy about this, since one of the families, the DiAngelo's moves in where Digger’s grandpa used to live in. One day before school, they noticed Mrs. DiAngelo and her son were out in the Kayak at a very bad time. The weather was terrible, but they chose not to tell her that. While at school, Brady gets called home because of the tragedy that happened. He was sent home so he could help look for Mrs. DiAngelo and her son when they were reported missing because of an accident. When Brady and his dog Tilly go out searching, they were lucky enough to find Ben floating in the water, unconscious. Because of his heroic act, Brady was able to give Ben CPR, and save his life. Unfortunately, he died the next day in the hospital because of trauma. After Ben’s death, Mr. DiAngelo moves away, blaming his wife for the death of his son. When she’s left alone, Brady decides to help her with all her chores, and starts working for her. One day, as he was cleaning out the shed, he finds his dad’s drill that went missing right before the accident. Brady started thinking if the accident had more to it. (SPOILER) When he finds out that the kayak had holes drilled into it by his friends, he struggles with the truth. He doesn’t know whether or not to keep it a secret. When he finally decides to tell the truth, J.T. and Digger get charged for the murder of Ben’s death. They were charged with juvenile services for nine months in a forestry camp. Digger and J.T. couldn't stay mad at Brady. They knew that in the end, he did the right thing by telling.


In my opinion, this book was really interesting. I like all the action when they were on the search for Ben and Mrs.DiAngelo. I also liked that the main character faced a really tough struggle, but showed that he did the right thing in the end. I would recommend this book to middle schoolers because it wasn't hard to read and but it was also at that level. 6-8 graders would enjoy this book because it has action and it was interesting, with a lot of twists in the story.




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