Sonderbooks Stand-out

Sonderbooks Book Review of

Forever Rose

by Hilary McKay


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Forever Rose

by Hilary McKay

Reviewed July 11, 2008.
Margaret K. McElderry Books, New York, 2008. 291 pages.
Starred Review.
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2008: #4, Children's Fiction

Although I admit to often staying up later than I should in order to finish wonderful books, it’s been awhile since a book lured me into finishing it in the morning before going to work. Fortunately, I was close to the end, because I don’t think I would have been able to stop once I picked up Forever Rose and thought I’d just read a little more….

The Casson family is back, as wonderful and chaotic as ever. Rose is having some rough times. Her teacher is so mean, he won’t even let the class celebrate Christmas. In fact, school is no longer a peaceful place where you can catch up on your daydreaming. Her family never seems to be at home. And then her brother’s big friend who always seems to be in the way starts showing up at their house, looking for a place to keep his drum set.

What’s more, Rose learns that when your friend says, “Promise you will help, please promise you will help!” You should NOT answer, “Of course we will!” Instead, you should say, “Help you with what?”

Rose is also having trouble with reading. She explains, “If you finish one book, they make you pick another. And as soon as you finish that, they send you off to the book boxes again. And each book is a little bit harder than the one before. It’s called Reading Schemes and it’s just like a story Indigo once told me about a dragon with two heads. And when the dragon’s two heads were cut off, it grew four. And when they were cut off, it grew eight. . .”

If you haven’t yet become friends with the artistic and lovable Casson family, you will want to start with the first book, Saffy's Angel. If you already know and love them, I am happy to report that the latest installment in their story is as quirky and delightful as ever.

I did finish the book before going to work – the perfect way to ensure starting my day with a smile.