Monday, October 15, 2018

Rosetown by Cynthia Rylant

For Middle-Grade Monday I am reviewing Rosetown by Cynthia Rylant. Don't forget to check out the other blogs hosting MMGM over at Always in the Middle

The Story-
Nine-year-old Flora lives in Rosetown, Indiana. Things have changed greatly for her fourth grade year. Her beloved dog passed away, a new boy is in school, and her parents have separated. Despite all the turmoil, life has a way of continuing on, and Flora discovers her roots. She adopts a cat, befriends the new boy Yury, and learns piano.

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.

My Thoughts-
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!


  1. Sounds like a beautiful and relaxing book. Thanks for the review.

  2. I enjoyed this story (along with your review) and thought it would be good for all those kids who live in one house during the week and another on the weekends.

  3. I have enjoyed many of Cynthia Rylant's books over the years, but this title is new to me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on MMGM.

  4. I enjoyed your positive review. I love quiet and hopeful stories. The plot is clever, so I'll be checking it out. Thanks for sharing!

  5. This sounds like a good, old-fashioned story. I will try to check it out. Thanks for the review.