Red Rider's Hood - By Award Winning Author: Neal Shusterman

Essay by jasontang06Junior High, 9th gradeA, June 2008

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IdentityThe title of the book I read is “Red Rider’s Hood.” The author who wrote this book is a award winning author, and his name is “Neal Shusterman.” This book was first published in 2005 and was published by the Penguin Group Inc.

SettingThe story took place in all sorts of different places, but they all were around Red’s Neighborhood, which is located in the United States. His neighborhood is the home to many families but it is also the home to many Gangs, Crimes, and Fights. They’ve got every culture there: “Hispanic, African-American, White, Vietnamese, Armenian and many more.” Red’s Grandmas house is also another place that goes into the “Setting” category because that is where the werewolf hunters meet and get ready for their hunt. That is also the place where the make plans and build there own custom silver bullets in order to defeat the wolves.

PlotThe story starts off with Red trying to finish off fixing his old mustang into a brand new looking blood red mustang.

Red has been working on the car for a long time and it finally was finished. Red’s family and relatives did not believe in banks, so all his family and relatives kept their money safe behind paintings in Red’s house. Red is the person who runs errands in his house and one day, Red had to take a bag of money to his Grandma and loved running errands around his house because he loved taking his mustang for a ride. On his way to Grandma’s house, he stopped at a red light and caught up with his old high school buddy Marvin. He was cleaning car windows on red lights, and he randomly started to wash red’s car. Red did not have any spare change to give his friend so he took a fifty-dollar bill from his grandma’s moneybag and gave him. Marvin saw the big bag of money and told red to go meet his sister Marissa at the antique shop. Marissa was this beautiful girl red has been crushing on ever since high school, so Red figured he should go meet her.

After talking with Marissa he sets up a date for the evening and headed back to grandma’s house. After talking to his grandma, who was on the bed all covered, he finds out that that it isn’t his grandma he’s talking to. It was Cedric Soames, the leader of one of the biggest gang “The Wolves.” Cedric then robs the moneybag and puts Red in the basement with his Grandma; Marvin was also in on this robbery. After a while Red gets out of the basement and walks to the antique shop to meet Marissa, hoping that she wasn’t in on it also. The antique shop seemed to be closed but the back door was open and so Red enters and gets hit by a wooden stick by Marissa. Red then fins him self tied up, with a coffee table in the middle with a skull on it. Marissa and Red both waited for the full moon. The skull on the coffee table suddenly evolved into a werewolf’s head. Red was surprised but Marissa wasn’t. The skull was the skull of “Xavier Soames”, Cedric’s grandfather. Marissa then said sorry and explained to Red that the gang “Wolves” are really werewolves and she accidentally thought that Red was one of them but then realized that he wasn’t. Every full moon the “Wolves” would evolve into werewolves and roam the neighborhood. During the whole novel Red, Marissa and Red’s Grandma try to get rid of the wolves that are threatening the neighborhood of danger. With Red’s Grandma’s knowledge on how to kill the wolves the team works their way up to actually killing the wolves one by one facing dangers where there life is depending on.

CharacterRed, the main character is the protagonist in this story. He is put into very tough situations from the beginning to the end. He is a type of person, who fears nothing. He is very brave and decides to solve other people’s problem by putting himself in it. For example: he decides to join the “Wolves” even though knowing they’re werewolves, just to get the inside information to help find a way to get rid of them. His goal was to get rid of the wolves that were back to get revenge on the neighborhood and his grandma, for trying to get rid of them years before. From beginning to end, he is always facing dangers but he finally achieves his goal by taking down the wolves one by one.

PleasureReading this novel was for sure something I really enjoyed during this winter break. It was so thrilling and mysterious, that it almost kept me awake until two in the morning. There was some real good cliff hangers at the end of each chapter and it made me read more of the next chapter. The book “Red Rider’s Hood” reminded me of me childhood, when I first read the story “Red Riding Hood.” This novel was a allusion to that story in almost everyway. A specific evidence of allusion is the title and the characters name. The book was very entertaining and I think the author did a very good job on the novel. Some of the things he could have improved on are the setting. The author finished the story all in one neighborhood, there wasn’t much moving around for the character. The author should have made the setting a little bigger; a specific city could have been a good idea too.

ThemeThe theme of this book is revenge, because the antagonist in this story “Cedric Soames” brings up a new gang of werewolves into the neighborhood, just to get revenge on the hunters who got rid of his grandfather’s gang. Cedric’s goal was to kill the hidden hunters who killed his grandfather and his gang and take over the neighborhood, send his personal werewolf friends to other cities and bring the population of werewolves up. Also another example of revenge would be in the perspective of Red’s Grandma. She also wants to get rid of the pack of wolves roaming in the neighborhood with her own hands just because they have killed her husband earlier.

ViolenceIn this novel there are also some violence involved, and the violence in the novel, is no different then violence that occur in our daily life. There isn’t a lot of deaths in this novel, but there is some deaths which were the solution for the whole problem in the novel. The book shows that it has violence because there were some hitting, gang fights, hunting, and crimes happening almost everyday and specially on every full moon when the werewolves are out. In one part Marissa hits Red by with wooden stick, which made Red unconscious for a while. That shows Red suffering from violent actions. Another example of violence would be when hunting down the werewolves. Red, Grandma, and Marissa, all were equipped with guns and crossbows equipped with silver arrows and bullets. On the night of the hunt the whole neighborhood was in danger, until the team finally killed every single bloodthirsty werewolves.

Book: Red Rider's Hood By Neal Shusterman