- Age Range: 8 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 3 - 7
- Lexile Measure: 0920 (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 160 pages
- Publisher: Beach Lane Books (May 8, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1534412778
- ISBN-13: 978-1534412774
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #282,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Rosetown Hardcover – May 8, 2018
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Nine-year-old Flora experiences the loss of a pet, the separation of her parents, and the start of fourth grade, but a year of good changes is in store for her.It's 1972, and Flora Smallwood loves growing up in the small town of Rosetown, Indiana. She especially enjoys reading three times a week in the purple velveteen chair at Wings and a Chair Used Books. Flora needs the respite: She just lost her dog and is dealing with her parents' recent separation. Fourth grade is starting, and everything seems different. Flora finds comfort in her old routines with Nessy, her best friend, and new routines with Yury, her new friend from Ukraine. As the year goes on, there are nice changes in store for her family and friends, such as new pets, lessons, and interests. From a third-person point of view, readers get a glimpse into Flora's quaint, small-town life as she deals with all the changes, good and bad. Rylant shapes Flora's experiences and thoughts such that they are accessible to all children, as Flora tries to hold on to the old and comfortable while adjusting to the new and different. The narrative is a lovely story of Flora's daily life interlaced with hints of the 1970s. The book assumes a white default. A sweet story for children dealing with change. (Historical fiction. 8-12) (Kirkus 3/15/18)
A sensitive and perceptive girl searches for balance and order in this taut, graceful novel from Rylant, set in small-town Indiana in 1972. Flora, “who sometimes felt quite acutely the stress of being nine years old,” is grappling with the death of her beloved dog and with her parents’ separation, and wonders where her fellow fourth-graders found their “sudden confidence.” A comforting constant in her off-kilter life is Wings and a Chair Used Books, where her mother works; Flora is happiest curled up in the store’s eponymous armchair, reading “extra-vintage” children’s books. She shares the bookshop, and the worlds and words its books contain, with Yury, a compassionate new classmate from Ukraine, who in turn “shared his cleverness” with Flora and makes her “feel more certain.” Serenity, the stray cat she adopts, brings another affirming change to Flora’s life, as does her parents’ reconciliation and their decision to purchase an 1890 letterpress and open a paper and printing shop. Eloquent and resonant, Rylant’s writing is as timeless as the deceptively simple story she relays, which celebrates objects and relationships both old and new, and poignantly underscores the significance of family, friendship, and home. (Publishers Weekly *STARRED REVIEW February 26, 2018)
Gentle and old-fashioned in the best sense, this story introduces nine-year-old Flora Smallwood, who loves living in Rosetown, Indiana. Not everything is perfect. Her dog Laurence has recently passed on, and her parents have decided to live in separate houses, at least for a while. But Flora has two good friends that support her: Nessy, who she’s known since they met at the library storytime, and Yuri, from Ukraine, who likes to read as much Flora does. Simply written, the book’s leisurely pace belies the fact that quite a bit happens during this school year. Flora finds a new pet; learns some new skills; and is surprised when her teacher informs her she might have the makings of a real writer, urging her to send her poetry to the newly launched Cricket magazine. All the characters, children and adult, get their due, but Flora’s dad is especially finely drawn. Set in 1972, this references some of the issues of the era—environmentalism and the end of the Vietnam War, though not civil rights—but in many ways, this could as easily have been set in 1952; some readers may hardly recognize the setting's enduring calm. Rylant, a Newbery medalist, seems to polish each word she writes, and here offers a little gem about small-town life. — Ilene Cooper (Booklist *STARRED REVIEW* May 1, 2018)
About the Author
Cynthia Rylant is the author of more than 100 books for young people, including the beloved Henry and Mudge, Annie and Snowball, Brownie & Pearl, and Mr. Putter & Tabby series. Her novel Missing May received the Newbery Medal. She lives in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Visit her at CynthiaRylant.com.
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During the week she goes back and forth between her parents houses, the yellow house and the old house. She feels unbalanced, but finds her stability in the town's old bookstore, Wings and a Chair, where Flora's mother works three days a week. Her and Yury spend many afternoons there reading adventure and survival books.
As Flora's life slowly returns to a more normal pattern, she is delighted to find out that her parents will be starting a business together, and hopefully starting a new life.
Rosetown is a year in the life book. Basically we start in the Spring of Flora's ninth year and journey with her through the Spring of tenth year. All the changes she goes through are tough on her, and the author does a good job balancing the worries with the new experiences that pop up for Flora.
It is a simple, quiet story that leaves one with a feeling of contentment when they are finished reading. The setting adds to this feeling. The story takes place in 1972, a time when kids said groovy and there were no electronics taking up their free time. For child readers it will be a great peek into the life of someone their own age who is trying to figure out life and friendships.
Interestingly, the story is told by an omnipresent narrator, who chimes in occasionally with overall information, but the story reads mostly from Flora's point-of-view. I can't say the book blew me away, but it is well written and full of hope. I'm giving it 4 stars!
Flora is a little down since her dog died. Having her parent separated and switching between two different bedrooms isn't making matters better. But the friendship with a new boy at school as well as the connection to a friend she already knows, offers more upswing than she could have ever suspected.
This isn't a book with high adventure, nor is there an overdose on tension. Rather, this is a story which mirrors an average girl and her path out of a down point in life at a gentle pace. Flora isn't at a happy moment in life. However, she's not overly depressed or dragging tons of baggage either. Flora is simply at one of those times where several things have gone wrong and she's not feeling quite herself—it's true to life and holds a situation kids can easily identify with. The ways she deals with this follow a split path of wonderful chance moments along the way as well as healthier decisions on her part. In other words, it's a nice balance and offers gentle, real life glances readers can connect to.
Flora and her friends find support with each other and overcome obstacles by working together. The adults also offer support at the right times, although it's the kids' efforts which find solutions to problems like a sprained wrist and the last important test before a dog diploma. There's a nice amount of life's wonders built in as Flora and her friends discover happiness in possibilities they never knew existed for them.
This is a wonderful read for those who enjoy true life journeys, friendship and the brilliant hope life can offer.
I received a complimentary copy and enjoyed it enough to want to leave my honest thoughts.
Rosetown by Cynthia Rylant
Flora loves her small town. Three afternoons a week, she meets her mother after school in the used book store where her mother works. Her father is a photographer. She has good friends. Her parents have separated but both make sure she has the best of both worlds. This is a touching read, of a small town that readers will want to live in. This book would be a great read for upper elementary and middle school readers, ideally.