Set against a backdrop of the 1944 Cowra Prisoner of War Camp breakout, this powerful story explores an important part of Australia's past and how it informs the future.
Set in a modern-day small town among the remnants of a Japanese POW camp, this is the story of Charlie. Charlie has synaesthesia and hence sees and hears differently: people have auras; days of the week are coloured; numbers and letters have attitudes. But when Charlie meets Japanese exchange student Kenichi, her senses intensify and she experiences flashbacks, nausea, and hears unfamiliar voices in her head pulling her back to the town's violent past. This is heartfelt contemporary storytelling at its best.
Red Day is influenced by Sandy's longstanding love of Japanese culture and history and childhood memories created on school-holiday visits to Cowra while visiting her grandparents' farm. There she became acquainted with local landmarks, including the remains of the Camp 12 site, the Japanese Gardens and War Cemetery, and the town's historical displays.
Red Day is also based on Cowra High School's annual exchange program with Seikei High in Tokyo, which has been running for forty-five years.
About the author
Sandy Fussell loves words, numbers and the internet. She lives on the NSW south coast with her family, a Scottish deerhound and four cats, one of which likes to eat manuscript pages. She has been awarded four CBCA notables, a Younger Readers CBCA Book of the Year shortlisting, the Sakura Medal in Japan, an international IBBY award and her picture book was praised the New York Times. Her books are published in Australia, the UK, the US and Asia. Sandy is often found in a school library wielding her Samurai Kids books or teaching a Minecraft-based writing workshop.
Author: Sandy Fussell