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Red Velvet: Friends for a Season    by Sandra Byrd order for
Red Velvet
by Sandra Byrd
Order:  USA  Can
Bethany, 2005 (2005)
* * *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Fourteen-year-old Quinn Miller and her family are leaving Leavenworth, Washington for a six week stay in Seattle while her mother undergoes further treatment for breast cancer. They have been through a great deal over the past few years, and Quinn's mother has fairly advanced cancer. While in Seattle, they are staying at Anderson House, a home for cancer patients and their families, which includes a school for Quinn and her brother. At school, Quinn meets Annie, whose mother also has breast cancer.

The two become friends and begin to share more and more about themselves. Quinn is a Christian, while Annie doesn't follow any religious beliefs. Quinn has accepted her mother's diagnosis, but Annie avoids talking about her mom. Can the girls move past their differences and share their strengths?

Red Velvet is the third book in this fabulous series for younger teen girls. Quinn is intriguing and goes through life with a hope-filled maturity. The plot is a little deeper than in the other books and may be too intense for readers who have experienced a parent or other family member's fight against cancer. However, the emotions are realistically portrayed and could help readers know that they are not alone with their feelings.

It's refreshing to read a book that doesn't talk down to teens or portray a teen's capacity for emotion and comprehension at a lower level than an adult's. Quinn's relationship with her brother Tucker is touching, as is her desire to help each member of her family experience happiness. Even though this is a series, each book stands completely on its own as a tale of two girls who become friends during a season of their lives. Red Velvet is a superb book that will make you laugh, cry, and hold on to your friends and family a little tighter.

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