Seeing Red: The True Story of Blood by Tanya Lloyd Kyi

Seeing Red by Tanya Lloyd Kyi Book CoverStars: ★★★★☆

Annick Press (2012)
Teen Nonfiction

Summary: Around the world, blood has always been a symbol of both life and death: blood rites, blood oaths, and blood-soaked legends. Today, we have scientific facts about blood types, transfusions, blood-borne illnesses, and crime-scene blood spatter. Yet the fluid still holds mystery. Open this book to learn about the symbolism and reality of blood, from its role in ancient sacrifices to its uses in modern medicine and forensics.source

I love reading children’s or teen nonfiction because it gives me the facts without all the extra pages of scientific data or case studies that you often find in adult nonfiction. Then if I want to know more about a subject, then I can read an adult nonficiton book about it.

NOTE: On the publisher’s site, this book is listed as for 10+ but I would recommend an even older audience as the topic of blood naturally leads to discussions of blood sacrifice, war, vampires and crime scenes which may disturb younger readers. My 4 year old was getting upset just at the illustrations while reading over my shoulder. I would suggest 14+.

The book was very interesting and would be a perfect reference if a student was doing a report or speech on blood. If you are just interested in the subject too or like to know a lot about science or our bodies, it’s an interesting read.

Topics Include:

  • The Blood Facts (Introduction)
  • Blood and Ritual (Ritual Sacrifice of Old and New)
  • Rites of Passage (Blood Rituals for when children become adults as well as Menstruation)
  • Sips and Suppers (Blood Eating, Food made with Blood)
  • Ties That Bind (Blood and Genes, Blood Brothers, Royalty and Blood Ties)
  • Reading The Blood (How Blood Helps Crime Scence Investigators)
  • A Taste for Blood (Our culture’s craving for violence and blood – video games and movies or looking at real crime scenes)

The book is accompanied by black, red and white comic illustrations by Steve Rolston. I normally don’t care for comics so much but I enjoyed following along with the story through each chapter. A teen boy named Harker is learning about blood along with you and so you see his notes and thoughts and his investigations which can get funny (such as searching the grocery store for fresh blood and being kicked out).

An interesting read – would be extra fun near Halloween time.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.