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Red Sky at Morning by Richard Bradford August 1, 2007

Filed under: Book Reviews,Books,Fiction,Historical Fiction,Juvenile — Julie @ 1:05 am

redskyatmorning.jpgRed Sky at Morning by Richard Bradford

Genre: World War II Fiction

Publication Date: 1968

Recommended Age Group: 16 years and older boys and some girls

Summary: In this classic coming-of-age novel Josh Arnold learns about love, loss, and responsibility when his Dad goes off to fight in WWII and leaves him with his Mother in New Mexico. The story starts in Mobile, AL where Josh’s Dad Francis Arnold runs a Navy shipyard. Francis feels the need to go fight and moves the family to their summer home in the mountain city of Sagrado, New Mexico where they will be safe. While in Sagrado Josh finds himself in a different society than his is used to and he struggles to learn their way of life. He makes friends and enemies quickly. He gets chased by Chango holding a knife and The Cloyd sisters holding up their skirts all in the same week. Josh also learns to deal with his mother’s racism and his mother’s depression because of his father’s long absence.
In the end Josh and his Mother have both learned some important lessons about the strength they each posses. Josh becomes an anchor for his mother and friends. After a mine killed his father he joined the Navy to follow in his footsteps and to do his duty. Mrs. Arnold learned that hired help can be more than that and came to treat them as friends rather than servants. She also learned how to stand on her own feet and that she doesn’t have to be in Mobile to be surrounded by good people and have a good time.

Personal Notes: As I mentioned in the summary Mrs. Arnold had some racial problems throughout the book and some people have cited these as a reason not to read it. I think it puts it into perspective a little and makes her change more drastic at the end. She does have some low points and some of her comments made me uncomfortable but it reminded me of talking to my grandmother who at times said things that are no longer politically correct but were not frowned upon when she was younger.
I think this book would be best for boys because it is written from a boy’s point of view and is more geared toward them. I certainly enjoyed it but not in the same way that I like reading a Meg Cabot novel. It’s a different kind of read. However, it is a very well-written and engaging book.

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8 Responses to “Red Sky at Morning by Richard Bradford”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I personally did not get this book at all. I did not like the racism they had for people to read the book .

  2. anonymous Says:

    we had to read this for a school book in tenth grade, and it really was not worth the time. the themes portrayed were not filled out completely, and the characters had no meaty qualities worth engaging in. To tell you the truth it was pretty boring, although some parts were funny. If it were not for the mother, the book would have not real plot, and the whole situation seemed unfathomable.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I personally enjoyed this book it had great depth and was inspirational if your looking for a book that will last with you for a long time Red Sky at Mourning is great

  4. anonymous Says:

    I loved this book when I first read it as a teenager. The rich, comic characters are more alive than in most books for young adults. Josh’s coming-of-age story is one I still return to when I need a good laugh, or a reminder about responsibility. Has anyone seen the 1971 movie? My mom told me about it, but I’ve never seen it available on DVD or even on TV.

  5. Reader Says:

    As a middle-aged man, I will state that I have read this book numerous times, starting in high school in the early ’70s. Josh’s coming-of-age story was one that I related to – and that still brings back memories of a happier, simpler time. To me, the characters are well fleshed out and multi-dimensional. The ending isn’t quite as cut & dried as the summary would paint it – I doubt that Josh’s mom ever really became “happy” in Corazon Sagrado – but it leaves open a great future. I was always sad that Bradford died without ever creating a sequel.

    As for racism, keep in mind that this is a period piece and most of the racism was inherent in society at that time. The attitudes shown were indeed the feelings of many Americans in the 1940s. The racism is mocked, not promoted, as in a letter from Josh’s father stating how ridiculous it was that a well-educated young African-American had been assigned to be a ship’s steward. Josh’s mother was simply a product of her upbringing and it should be noted that neither Josh nor his father shared her attitudes.

    All in all, a well crafted and memorable read.

  6. beansie Says:

    I loved this book. It was completely different from what I usually read (I read horror and fantasy), but it was a very refreshing change. I loved the characters, setting, everything. I originally had to read it for a school assignment, but I think I just may buy the book anyway!

  7. Mark1959 Says:

    I have read this book numerous times since I was in the 7th grade. It has been refreshing and puicks me up when i get jaded with todays society. It shows that responsibility is important in any persons life. It shows that life cqn be hard and different at times. It also shows that people from any culture can get along and help one another. People are the same when it comes to living life. Life is fun and difficult at the same time. Be open minded remember the time period this novel took place and see the humor in racism is when you see the ingorence behind it. Don’t get me wrong it has hurt many people and it is not fun or easy being the person that racism is point at. Josh is a great character as well as his father. Mom eventually comes around.

  8. abbs Says:

    i dont understand this book.
    someone want to give me a quick summary


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