Red Day by Sandy Fussell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A great middle-grade book which delves into a sometimes overlooked part of Australia’s World War Two history. Charlotte or Charlie lives in Cowra in the central west of New South Wales. She is a synaesthete which means she experiences words and people as having colours. She is not looking forward to having a Japanese exchange student to stay at her home, and misses her brother who died some years ago. Kenichi, when he arrives, turns out to be not so bad. He also triggers her synaethesia in strange ways so that she feels what happened during the breakout of Japanese prisoners from the Cowra internment camp. Both characters have family mysteries to solve which are resolved in satisfying ways. Fussell’s characterization of Charlotte, in particular, is warm and believable. An enjoyable read.