Sophie calls herself an amoeba. She is not important, surrounded by other cells bouncing and moving throughout the world. She is perfectly fine going nowhere and staying in her home in Arizona with her parents. New experiences are not something she is comfortable with. After all, she could get a disease, or be murdered, or something worse.
That is what Sophie thinks when her family finds three refugees at Mexico’s border. The mother and father are dead, but their child is barely alive. Sophie’s family takes the boy in and eventually agrees to take him to his relatives’ town, deep in Mexico, where he can decide who he wants to live with. But Sophie is worried about what could happen, far away from home. Will she stay fearful or will she grow stronger and no longer be afraid?
Red Glass by Laura Resau is a great book about growing up and changing for the better. Sophie, is very fearful of every possible negative event. Her parents understand this, but her aunt, Dika, doesn’t and wants Sophie to be bolder. Once they find the boy on the border, Sophie wants nothing more than to stay in her shell. They name the boy Pablo, and as he slowly starts to grow comfortable with the family, Sophie starts to change as well, out of a desire to protect him. Later in their journey, the family starts traveling with “the pool man” Mr. Lorenzo. He and his son, Angel, join them on their long trip, but for reasons of their own.
I enjoyed this book. However, the first chapters didn’t hook me at first. The plot took a while to interest me, but the characters were enjoyable. It especially helped that I could relate to Sophie and I understood why she feared so many things. Slowly I got further drawn into the book, and when I finished it I was ready to read it again.
In this book, Resau provides quite a bit about Mexico and many cultures within. The book gives lots of information about both current and older cultures, and even languages that are near extinct. These cultures play a big part in Sophie’s changing. The cultures also give a lot of insight towards how people act and why, and it helps the characters be better understood. For example, Dika is a war refugee, and that plays a large part in her character and how she responds to certain events.
I would recommend this book to those who might be afraid to experience new things. For example, like Sophie, who was afraid of countless exaggerated, terrible things. It could also be out of comfort for where you are now. However, new experiences can make you a better person. You could be wiser and smarter, and thus you could become an even better person than you were before.