From School Library Journal
Grade 6 Up–This is the second book in a series that melds fairy tales, myths, and legends. When readers first meet Red, he is riding to Grandma's house in his newly refurbished red Mustang. Already, it's clear that this is not the fairy tale they heard when they were little. Red arrives at Grandma's, delivering some bread (money), and when he gets there, he is confronted by a member of a gang called the Wolves. Grandma has been thrown in the basement, the Wolves take her bread, and the chaos begins. Soon, Red finds out that the gang members are actually werewolves who change when the full moon rises, and he's surprised to discover that his grandmother is a werewolf hunter, determined to eliminate them. At first, Red and his friend Marissa join forces with her, but problems arise when he infiltrates the gang to gather information and begins to feel a bond with them. Ultimately, it is his confusion about which side he is really on that could be his downfall. This installment in the series would be best for younger YAs as older teens might miss the good old-fashioned blood and guts that they look for in werewolf stories. The inclusion of a rival girl gang of vampires adds little to the story, but Red's journey is fast paced and suspenseful.–Kimberly L. Paone, Elizabeth Public Library, NJ
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Gr. 6-9. Shusterman follows up Dread Locks
(2005), a present-day retelling of the Medusa legend, with a clever twist on Little Red Riding Hood. The heroine becomes Red Rider, a 16-year-old boy who lives in a rough neighborhood terrorized by werewolves. His grandmother is a former hippie who turns out to be a werewolf hunter, prowling the streets in leather on a black Harley Davidson. Add a little romance, betrayal of all sorts, and Red Rider's lovingly restored red Mustang convertible, and you have a plot full of twists and turns, sure to appeal to fans of Darren Shan's Cirque du Freak series. Although character development is minimal and the prose lacks polish, this will draw plenty of interest from reluctant readers, particularly those who might scorn Donna Jo Napoli's more sophisticated fairy-tale retellings. Debbie CartonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved