Forever Rose

by Hilary McKay

Just when you thought Hilary McKay’s Casson family stories were complete, along... read more

Just when you thought Hilary McKay’s Casson family stories were complete, along comes book number five—the “final visit,” according to the jacket. Highly original and sometimes outrageous, the Cassons continue to delight in a story that is once again laugh-out-loud funny and full of warmhearted feeling. With her dad in London and her siblings’ lives changing, youngest child Rose is feeling left out and left behind. She doesn’t like the emptiness at home (even the hamsters are gone); she wants things the way they used to be. But Rose doesn’t know where her sister Caddy went after breaking off her engagement, and Saffy and Indigo are caught up in high school activities and related dramas (although they always make time for Rose when they can). Saffy’s friend Sarah, horrified at Rose’s adamant resistance to reading, is determined to find her a book she will love, and Indigo’s friend David, facing his own family crisis, has moved his unwieldy drum kit into the Casson home. When Rose’s teacher Mr. Spencer cancels the class Christmas celebration, it’s one more bit of comfort and familiarity gone by the wayside for Rose. So when her friend hatches a plan for a secret overnight at the zoo, Rose is not up to resisting. McKay’s novel features typical Casson chaos: always a bit fanciful, but featuring funny and sympathetic characters; lovely language; and moving, wholly realistic observations about family life and friendship. (Ages 9–13)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2009

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