The book Rose, a middle-reader by UK author Holly Webb, is coming out in the U.S. this upcoming month of September from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky! A bestselling UK series, Rose is now the endearing character in several books by Webb, but U.S. readers can now grab up the first book in the series for their children ages 9 and up (or younger if you have a great reader) and miss out not a moment longer!
First drawn in by the magical cover (which varies from the previous UK cover), my nine year old daughter Emma was excited to read this book as it promised elements she loves like magic, animals, mystery, and a slightly eerie feel. Though she breezed through the book easily (she is an advanced reader), this book has writing that would make relunctant readers keep turning the pages, would challenge those learning to read better, and is yet pure enjoyment for children who love to read. The book Rose fits all types of readers in the way that Harry Potter continues to do. So first I’m letting you in on my middle daughter’s review, then I’m giving my thoughts too.
What I liked about the book Rose was that Rose herself was a pretty mysterious girl. She doesn’t like to follow everyone else, she likes to explore. I liked her personality and how she asked alot of questions and was curious. I felt bad about her being an orphan, but was happy to see that she was not afraid to try new things.
I liked all the details about the cool house in the book too. There was some humor, some sad parts, and some mysterious parts. There were twists and turns that made me feel different emotions. I recommend this book to some kids my age because if they like books that make you want to keep turning the pages, then the magic and mystery in this one will make them do that.
I can’t wait to read more in this series to follow along with Rose’s life. Also, I want to read more of the other books by Ms. Webb too. I like animals and how she includes them in her books.
Mom’s Note and Review~
I read this book too and I can see why 3-4-5th graders, both boys or girls, would enjoy it. Magic abounds in just the right doses as Rose leaves her orphanage to become a young maid for a mysterious man who is an alchemist and lives in a gothic oriented home. Fantasy and fun in this book would keep any young child entertained and amazed. Plus, there is mid-level mystery.
When Emma and I first started to read it, as in the beginning Rose is still in the orphanage, it reminded me of the stories of Madeline. Rose is independent and curious, much like Madeline. Though she doesn’t remain in an orphanage or school for girls like Madeline, it was the personality that caught on. Emma’s favorite story book character is Madeline (for her curiosity) and I could tell that she related to Rose’s personality due to that. With all the influx of the magic and fantasy books in YA and adult literature, I was really pleased to see some middle readers features this type of fantasy content as my child has been reading high school level YA to feed her love of these types of books.
They say this book is for middle readers who like Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket, but throw in some Sabrina the Teenage Witch (for moms like me who grew up watching that and remember the talking cat) set in a more gothic, historical, and British atmosphere, with a very younger version of an Agatha Christie-type detective, and you’ve got a new magical heroine that can be adored by children everywhere!
Emma didn’t write this in her review, but when she took it to school to read it during her downtime in class, many of the kids were caught by the cover and the synopsis on the book jacket and were asking to read it. This included both boys and girls, she told me.
Stay tuned next week when Emma and I interview Holly Webb right here and then post a fun feature from Holly!
The first book in UK kids’ author Holly Webb’s exciting, get-lost-in-the-world series about orphans, alchemy, magical powers and sinister child-snatchers, Rose is perfect for young readers who love page-turning, absorbing books full of mystery to collect and treasure.
Rose is sympathetic and a pleasure to root for… in this engaging tale of an orphan servant-girl”—Kirkus Reviews
How would you know if you were special? The grand mansion of the famous alchemist, Mr. Fountain, is a world away from the dark orphanage Rose has left behind. The house is overflowing with sparkling magic – she can feel it. And it’s not long before Rose realizes that maybe, just maybe, she has a little bit of magic in her, too…
But when orphans begin mysteriously disappearing, Rose is put to the test. Can she find the missing children before it’s too late?
Author Holly Webb, Biography~
As a child growing up in London, Holly fell in love with stories from Ancient Greek myths, which led to studying Latin and Greek and eventually reading Classics at University.
She worked for five years as a children’s fiction editor, before deciding to become a writer. The Rose books stem from a childhood love of historical novels, and the wish that animals really could talk.
She lives in Reading with her husband and three small children.
Visit Holly at holly-webb.com.
Reviewer Emma A., Age 9, Biography~
Emma is a straight A student with a gift for reading and writing. She has read at a higher level than her peers ever since the summer between Kindergarten and First Grade when she spent almost the entire summer at the beach. That was also the summer Mom was reading the Twilight series, and took her to see Eclipse at the theater, and Emma found herself loving vampires, werewolfs, and other abnormals when once she was deathly afraid of them.
This newfound knowledge of stories, allowed her to overcome her fears and she now sleeps with Monster High dolls by her bed that are the daughters of a Mummy, the Abomindable Snowman, and a Werewolf. Besides reading and writing, she also enjoys softball, soccer, fashion, history, art, asking questions, chocolate, and coffee.
Watch for more of Emma, and her siblings, reviews! And if you have a recommendation for her, send it her way via Mom.