cover image Forever Rose

Forever Rose

Hilary McKay, . . S&S/McElderry, $16.99 (291pp) ISBN 978-1-4169-5486-6

The fifth—and, sadly, final—volume about the Casson family, Brits like the author, is the best of them all, a jewel of a domestic comedy. Rose, the youngest, is now 11 and occupies an as yet uncharted zone between daft and brilliant. Writing in a diary (she cheerfully ignores the printed dates and supplies her own), she copes with her separated but still doting parents, her talented siblings and the assorted people they collect (where is Caddy, the oldest sister, when she periodically phones Rose? And what is to be done with David, her brother's lummox of a friend who has been kicked out by his mother and has no place to put his drum set?). Then there's Rose's friend Molly, with her nutty plan to hide out overnight at the zoo in the arctic foxes' shelter, a scheme Rose will go along with only because she's certain it will fail. McKay is an expert at twinning the point of view: she lets readers see Rose's logic, but her timing calls forth every bit of the situational humor. The ending ties all the ends together—some may say too neatly, but fans will find the wrapup utterly satisfying. Ages 10–14. (Apr.)