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 a longstanding love of Japanese culture and history and childhood memories created on school-holiday visits to Cowra while visiting my grandparents’ and sister’s farms. I became fascinated 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.
Readers of this wonderful piece of historical fiction, will learn of an important and sobering part of Australian history and also of an interesting neurological condition whilst enjoying the development of strong cross cultural friendship through the collaboration of Kenichi and Charlie. Hope for the future (an informed future) springs from this story…. Highly recommended. – Read Plus
This is a wonderful story that is set in contemporary Australia, but takes the reader back to Australia during the time of World War II, through Charlie’s flashbacks. It is a fantastic and enthralling story that keeps you turning the pages, with very lovable characters. Lamont Books – Book of the Month
What I wasn’t expecting, when I picked up this book, is that the historical aspects of the story would feel so pertinent today. The uncertainty and fear and paranoia when we’re faced with life-threatening situations feels very similar to what we’re going through now… I read Red Day at exactly the right time. It carried me away and comforted me and made me feel less alone. And at times like these, there is nothing more valuable than a book that does this. – Just Write For Kids
This is a novel with mysterious compartments. It’s built on sharp turns of phrase that deliver crisp and direct prose. Fussell’s writing is like music playing. Highly recommended, this brilliant novel has all the elements needed for a top read. Kids Book Review
Red Day made me curious about Cowra and this part of Australian history. I think readers aged 10+ who enjoy mysteries, books about friendship and readers who are curious about history will enjoy this book. I found myself racing through the 237 pages keen to solve the mystery alongside Charlie and Kenichi. – Momo Celebrating Time to Read
A great middle-grade book which delves into a sometimes overlooked part of Australia’s World War Two history. – Liza in the Library