The Blue Roses

by Linda Boyden and Amy Cordova

When she was born, Rosalie’s grandfather planted a rosebush in their yard.... read more

When she was born, Rosalie’s grandfather planted a rosebush in their yard. Throughout her childhood, he shares his gift for nurturing things that grow with her. Of course Rosalie, too, is nurtured by this gentle, loving man who lives with Rosalie and her mother. The gardening they share becomes an important way for Rosalie to understand the cycle of life, death, and renewal. As she grows older, Papa, as she calls her grandfather, grows older, too. Eventually, it is his time to die. Linda Boyden’s first book for children is a richly told first-person narrative grounded in child-centered details and emotions. Rosalie’s sadness at Papa’s death is real, as is her gradual healing. Comfort comes from a dream in which Papa appears to her, from carrying on their gardening traditions, and from a special discovery at Papa’s grave. Amy Córdova’s full-color acrylic and pencil artwork reflects the characters’ Native heritage, which is implied but not expressed in the story. The author is an enrolled member of the United Lumbee Nation of the Cherokee. (Ages 5-8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2003

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