My Name is Rose by Sally Grindley
|My Name is Rose by Sally Grindley|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: A really interesting story about an Eastern European Roma girl who finds herself living with a family in England after an accident kills her parents. Sally Grindley excels at writing about children from different cultures and this book looks at an often misunderstoof one in a very moving way.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 240||Date: June 2011|
|External links: Author's website|
Rosa comes from a Romany gypsy community. She travels around Eastern Europe with her family, only stopping occasionally for school. Her father says her education comes from her family's connection with the land and the Roma traditions. And Rose agrees. She is happy and never happier than when her parents are playing music and there is noise and laughter and gaiety.
And then there's a terrible accident. Newly orphaned, Rose finds herself transported to Britain by the Luca family - wealthy Romanian ex-pats. And no matter how much Mrs Luca spoils her with gifts and attention, Rose doesn't like there. Mr Luca is cross and sharp. His daughter Victoria is resentful and spoiled. And this gadje house has so many rules. There's no music either. So Rose refuses to speak...
Sally Grindley writes about children facing adversity - children whose situations are different in some way from the majority of her readers. She has written about child labour on cocoa plantations, the many AIDS orphans in Africa, and the family tensions caused by attention deficit disorder right here in the UK. Her books are marked by lively curiosity, great humanity, and never come without a good dollop of common sense. They're perfect for children, who always like reading about other children, and who are also full of lively curiosity about the world around them.
My Name is Rose has perhaps a slightly less realistic plot than some of her other books in that an orphaned child is simply uprooted to another country and no attention is really paid to the bribes and forgeries that this sort of thing would entail. But Rose's grief - resulting in selective mutism - is as real as anything. And the descriptions of her life in the Roma community are vivid, accurate and stereotype-defying. You're rooting for this little girl right from page one.
Lovely story. Super writer. Recommended.
My thanks to the good people at Bloomsbury for sending the book.
The Roma people also feature in The Midnight Zoo by Sonya Hartnett - orphaned Roma children in Eastern Europe during WWII evade the Nazis and find an abandoned zoo in a beautiful fable. Children finding themselves in the UK as a foreign country feature in Asylum by Rachel Anderson.
You can read more book reviews or buy My Name is Rose by Sally Grindley at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy My Name is Rose by Sally Grindley at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.