Rose by Holly Webb
Age Range: 9 and up
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (September 3, 2013)
Series: Rose #1
Genre: Histocial fiction/fantasy
Source: Publisher via NetGalley (thank you!)
Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars!
About the Book:
Rose isn’t like the other orphans at St Bridget’s Home for Abandoned
Girls. Instead of dreaming of getting adopted by loving, wealthy
parents, Rose wants to get a job and be independent. She doesn’t need
anyone but herself. She finds her escape working as a maid for Mr.
Fountain, an alchemist. Unable to ignore the magic that flows throughout
the grand residence, Rose realizes that just maybe, she might have a
little bit of magic in her too. This new series featuring magicians,
witches, talking cats, mist-monsters, and friendships will have young
readers in a trance!
Amazon | Goodreads
About the Author:
Holly Webb is a best-selling author in the UK with her books Lost in the
Snow and Lost in the Storm. She was born and grew up in southeast
London. 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.
Rose – Chloe Moretz
This is so difficult! Rose needs to be
brave, determined, but quite matter-of-fact. She’s horrified by her magic at
first, as she wants to be a maid – she’s amazed that she’s been lucky enough to
get a job, and she thinks the magic will spoil everything. So whoever played
her would need to be able to get that determination across, but be overtaken by
the excitement of the magic growing inside her.
At first I thought of Kirsten Dunst, as she
was amazing as a child vampire in Interview With the Vampire, but of course
that was years and years ago. Actually, if I could have any child actress from
whenever, I think I would go for Mara Wilson, who played Matilda in the film.
She seemed quite as I imagine Rose – pretty, but not beautiful, very sensible,
but with a sly sense of humour lurking underneath. I wonder if Chloe Moretz
(Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Hugo) would be able to look young enough to play Rose?
In the book Rose thinks she’s ten, but she’s not quite sure, and the hard life
at the orphanage, and having to be grown-up very quickly, would make her look
Mr Fountain – Colin FirthBut only if he could grow a large, curly
moustache.Miss Sparrow – Emma WatsonMiss Sparrow needs to be very beautiful,
possibly too beautiful – not to spoil the plot, but her looks are magically
enhanced. I’d love to see Emma Watson play another magical character, but this
time, an evil one. (Thinking about it, Emma Watson would also have been
wonderful as Rose!)Bill (Or Freddie! ) – Asa ButterfieldBill is another of the servants at Mr
Fountain’s house. He’s an orphan too, and he loves being a little bit older and
more used to working than Rose. But he’s actually very kind, although he does
his best to hide it. He needs to sound like a Londoner, which I think is
probably easier for a British actor. But then I can see Asa Butterfield as
Freddie, the snotty, conceited magician’s apprentice, too! He has a magical
look to him. Can I have him twice with different-coloured hair, please?!Gus (voice) – Alan RickmanBecause he has a lovely voice!
Gus is Mr Fountain’s spoilt white cat, and
one of the first magical things to happen to Rose is that she realises she can
hear him talking. He’s proud, lazy and obsessed with fishpaste sandwiches.
Oh my goodness I loved this book!
Magic, mystery, adventure, and friendship – this book has it all. The
characters are delightful children, each searching for their special
place in the world. Each one is an interesting addition and their stories
all weave together to create the plot. I especially loved the unlikely
friendship that sprang up between Rose and Freddie.
Rose has a special gift for magic, but it’s something she doesn’t
understand and it frightens her. The other servants don’t understand magic either, and Rose feels constantly on edge because of her ability that she is trying to hide. Rose
battles her desire to learn about magic and her desire to be rid of it.
She is a strong, capable young lady with determination and the courage
to do the impossible. She is a great protagonist.
** Spoiler Alert – My only complaint has to do with one inconsistency.
Rose continuously pines after being able to learn about magic and not be
a servant anymore, but when she is given the opportunity (several
times) she turns it down because she just wants to be a servant. While I
understand that she has conflicting feelings, it felt like the author
just couldn’t make up her mind.
Regardless of that minor bump in the road, I loved the book and would
heartily recommend it to kids ages 9 and up, especially to fans of Harry
Potter. It is a little disturbing at the very end, so don’t give it to a squeamish kid.