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Forever Rose (Casson Family #5)

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  1,012 ratings  ·  121 reviews
It's tough being the youngest - Rose is lonely. Her family are always busy doing their own things so Rose comes home to a dark, quiet, empty house every day. At least Rose still has her friends at school, but Mr Spencer is always shouting about SATs & now he's cancelled Christmas! But thankfully he can't cancel the Christmas School Trip.
Paperback, 277 pages
Published 2008 by Hodder Children's Books (first published September 20th 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,608)
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Jacob Proffitt
This book rocked. It's a toss-up if I liked this better than Saffy's Angel. That I can even consider the comparison should give you an idea of how very much I enjoyed the book. It even had some great laugh-out-loud moments and excellent hijinks that reminded me so strongly of that first adventure.

I was worried after Caddy Ever After that the magic was waning, but friends (and spouses) reassured me and they were right. Unlike most of the previous books, there are no new characters introduced in t
Melissa McShane
Forever Rose is probably my favorite of the Casson Family novels, mostly because Rose is such an engaging narrator. Hilary McKay has a real talent for writing young people who sound like their age (in this case 11) as opposed to young people who sound like tiny adults. Rose is the youngest of her family and deals with all the problems that come with being the youngest: not being taken seriously, overprotected, being left behind. Rose rarely complains about this, and never in a whiny way, but the ...more
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Eva Mitnick
Thank goodness for British children’s books! There is something about a book in which characters say “shan’t” and use mysterious objects called spongebags and occasionally talk in Capital Letters that warms my heart like a spot of tea and some beans on toast.

Forever Rose by Hilary McKay (Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster, 2008) is the fifth and last in the series that started with Saffy’s Angel in 2002. As fans of the Casson Family series know, there are four children (each named
I actually enjoyed Forever Rose more than the last two, for all that I thought the plot ridiculous: too many people running away to unsuitable places, and too many adults behaving appallingly.

Appallingly. Someone needs to contact the police about David's mother.

And really, Eve as a parent is shocking, and Bill as a human being more shocking still.

And what happened to the scattered-but-wise-in-her-own-way Caddy? I know the story is told from Rose's perspective - which has all the failings of the
Brandy Painter
So this might be mainly due to my reading the last three of these in one day, but I was pretty much over Rose by this point. This book is told first person by her so there was no escaping her. I really like how McKay has developed her character through the course of the books. In many ways she has grown and changed, in some ways I felt like she regressed to the Rose of Indigo's Star in this volume. Which is understandable as her family is changing in major ways. Her siblings are all grown up and ...more
Jan 27, 2009 Barbara rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children and adults who enjoy reading about eccentric British families
Charming, lovely, and funny--just like the previous four books detailing life with the eccentric, artistic, never predictable Casson family. Start with Saffy's Angel (the first and my favorite) and you'll want to read them all.

I started out giving this particular title four stars but it feels far too stingy when I think of how lovely it's been watching Caddy, Saffy, Indigo, and Rose grow up (along with assorted friends and pets).

Make a cup of tea, maybe a toasted curry sandwich with bananas and
Lenise Jones
McKay, Hilary (2008). Forever Rose New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books.
Kirkus Book Review Stars March 15 2008
SLJ Review Stars, May 2008
Realism/Contemporary Fiction
Junior Book Subject
A story of an 11-year old girl who feels left out and ignored by her family, who all seem to have something going on. She does not like her teacher, struggles with reading and gets upset when she wants to get a Christmas tree and no one has time to take her. Then her best friend and another classmate come up with
Roxanne Hsu Feldman
It is so quirky - but I can see that many young readers will still be able to relate to Rose's many feelings and statements. I laughed out loud many many times and found the characters highly entertaining -- even those Rose only sees very flatly, such as Mr. Spencer.

Note to self:

p. 11 - the funny bits about what Kiran does when she's bored.
p. 104 - "I should have loved to see Mr. Spencer onstage in colored wellies and a rain hat and a Teletubby bib..."
Rose still sounds and thinks like a precocious 8-year-old rather than a middle schooler, but she didn't annoy me as much this time, maybe because her emotions seemed more in proportion to the life stress occurring. I don't think I'd want her for a friend, though.

I would've liked to hear more about what happened with Caddy on her travels.
It's lovely.

I am sorry to see this series end, but McKay has thrown a definite knot of finality over it, and they all lived happily ever after.
May 07, 2009 Amy added it
Hilary McKay just can't write these fast enough for me. We were introduced to Indigo's Star first--our friend Catherine gave it to us when we were expecting our daughter and told her Indigo was our likely choice for a name--and Joy and I both loved the whole Casson family immediately. We bought all the others and zoomed through them, then tapped our fingers impatiently. The jacket says this is the last one. I refuse to believe it.

McKay shifts the focus of each book to a different member of the
In Forever Rose, Rose, the youngest family member, often finds herself alone in the house while her older siblings go about their lives. Mummy is in her shed, but instead of painting she's fighting a bad cough that is getting worse instead of better.

Indigo's friend David comes by regularly to play the drums he's storing at the Casson house. Lonely Rose should find his company welcome, but with nowhere else to put the drums except in Saffy's room, Saffy has been forced to move into her friend's r
Return once again to the Casson family as they verge on disaster but always pull together as a family by the end of the story. Rose is being left alone more and more as her sister Caddy has left, Saffy is busy with friends and school, Indigo is into his music, her father is away living in London, and her mother is in her shed feeling ill. But maybe it's worse when one of Indigo's friends moves his drum set in and ruins her latest painting. Certainly it is worse when she finally realizes what she ...more
Ryann Murphy
May 14, 2008 Ryann Murphy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Sharon Creech
Fifth (and final, I think) in the heart-warming adventures of the unique Cassen family, this story is told completely from the perspective of the youngest member of the family, Rose. She is lonely as everyone else is off living their own lives, except for Indigo's friend David who keeps showing up and brings his large drum set with him. Although it includes some of the touching moments that made me love the previous novels, I didn't love this one as much. I think I miss the perspective of Indigo ...more
Fifth and last in the 'Casson family' series. What a wonderful book! It's all narrated by Rose, who is now ten. Rose's mother has a bad cold that doesn't seem to be getting better, and her father is still living in London. Her brother Indigo seems to be out all the time, Saffron and Sarah are busy doing teenage things, and Caddy hasn't been heard from in a while. She set off across Europe to find Michael, but as far as anyone knows, she hasn't been successful.

So Rose often comes home to an empty
Rose is back front and center in the fifth and final volume of the Casson family. Rose is a bit bothered by all of the upheaval in the family: Indigo is busy with his guitar, school and job; Saffy is always off with Sarah, they are growin up fast and have no time for Rose; Mummy is constantly in the shed, nearly always sick and pressed to finish many paitings; that David won't leave, even though he is around, Rose wants little to do with him; Daddy is in London, of course; Caddy is missing--no o ...more
Rachel Brand
19/07/2011: I tend to reread this book at least once a year, so this is the first reread of 2011. The perfect book to curl up with whenever I'm feeling ill, like today. Despite this probably being the 10th time I've read this book I STILL laugh out loud at it. Hilary McKay is an amazing writer, definitely my favourite children's author from the 21st century. I would love to be able to create such wonderful characters and voices as she does, but writing books for children is a pretty difficult ta ...more
Sherwood Smith
American readers unfamiliar with McKay's work, the basic premise is the story of a family of creative types, centering around Rose, the youngest. The parents are painters, and they don't live together through most of the books. Their children are named after colors—Cadmium, Indigo, Rose. The family is unusual in many of the ways creative families are, their interactions with others are as orthogonal as such can frequently be, and their relations with one another are also often orthogonal to what ...more
Molly Siegel
Jun 03, 2008 Molly Siegel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all of my friends!!!
Shelves: favorites
It really surprised me how different Forever Rose was from the previous books. For one thing, Rose is older and more mature. Since she is the narrator, this changes the entire tone of the book from whimsical and funny to more serious and at some times depressing. Of course, the humor is still there but as Rose grows older and more mature she starts to gain a less basic understanding of the world and this really shows in the themes that are brought up. Another thing that is different is the event ...more
The Cassons are growing up. Caddy hasn't been heard from in ages, mostly because every time she calls all anyone wants to do is ask her questions. Saffy and Indigo are both busy with school and other stuff. Eve is forever painting, although lately she has been sick as well. So Rose is mostly left on her own in a dark, quiet house.

Rather surprisingly, it is Rose's friend "boring Molly" who comes up with a doozy of a plan, which includes Rose. And somehow, that crazy scheme may be just what is nee
One of the pleasures of parenthood is getting to read children's books. And the best fiction for young readers is as well-crafted as anything written for adults. (Martin Amis is so very wrong...)
Anyway Hilary McKay's sequence of novels about the Casson family were my favourites. Perhaps because the Cassons are so benignly dysfunctonal. (I wish I could be like Eve the mother, taking semi-permanent refuge in a shed.) But this last novel in the series is particularly strong. Rose the youngest gets
Ashleigh Michelle
This book was a little bit boring, and the plot wasn't very exciting. The 'exciting' part could have been a lot more exciting, and the characters could have more emotional depth. I didn't connect with them and I didn't have any feelings about them. I also felt that Rose complained an awful lot, even about somebody complaining, which felt a little hypocritical. Then again, she does have the terrible Mr Spencer as a form tutor. He's quite a good character actually. Saffron and Sarah are perhaps th ...more
I know a lot of people think Rose is a real pest, but she's my favourite Casson, and her books are my favourite in the series.

She complains a lot, and she's a bit selfish, and very frustratingly stubborn on certain matters but she loves very strongly and very passionately. The truth of the matter is, she feels real to me, with all of her flaws and all of her glories.

It's a bit rough on her, now that her siblings are growing up and going off, and her mother and father aren't paying much attention
Miz Lizzie
Fifth book in the Casson Family series. Poor Rose is starting to feel like an only child rattling around the big Casson house by herself. Her grown-up sister Caddy has left home and no one quite knows where she is. Her mother is living out in the shed, painting and getting progressively sicker. Her father is still in London. Indigo is busy with his music. Saffron is over at Sarah’s house most of the time. The only, largely unwelcome, company is Indigo’s friend David who has run away from home. A ...more
Kate Coombs
This is the fifth book by Hilary McKay about the eccentric Casson family, one of the few non-fantasy series I not only read, but adore. I recommend reading them all in order: Saffy's Angel, Indigo's Star, Permanent Rose, Caddy Ever After, and now this one, Forever Rose. The Casson parents are artists and have named their children after paint colors. They're also fairly negligent in a benign and cheerful way. In this book, youngest Casson Rose must struggle with watching her older siblings create ...more
I read this book so many years ago,but it will always be one of my favourites. As a 7 year old,what more could you want? Comedy,love,happiness. Probably more of a children's book than young adult,seen as the themes are more for younger people:)
Hilary McKay's Casson family stories are always a treat - the story lines are never idyllic, but the books always end up having a pleasantly eccentric, idyllic quality. I'm never sure how to describe them, but I love them all and I was delighted to see a fifth installment. Start with Saffy's Angel, then Indigo's Star, Permanent Rose, Caddy Ever After, and then this one - they don't have to be read in order, but you might as well if you're starting from the beginning. The stories all deal with fo ...more
Laughed out loud several times--Rose is such a fun narrator! I'm sure this is a re-read, but since I don't remember it, I get to count it toward my challenge this year, Ha!
I was surprised to read so many positive reviews of this book, to be honest. Then, I realized that most of the people who wrote the reviews have read the other four previous books in the series.

I liked the eccentricities of the family, but I felt left out of their backgrounds. There were many times where I thought to myself, "Okay, that must be from a previous book in the series." This book can't stand alone, in my mind. With all of the missing information, I felt like many of the characters we
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omg 3 16 Apr 11, 2011 03:14PM  
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Hilary McKay was born in Boston, Lincolnshire and is the eldest of four girls. From a very early age she read voraciously and grew up in a household of readers. Hilary says of herself as a child "I anaesthetised myself against the big bad world with large doses of literature. The local library was as familiar to me as my own home."

After reading Botany and Zoology at St. Andrew's University Hilary
More about Hilary McKay...

Other Books in the Series

Casson Family (6 books)
  • Caddy's World (Casson Family, #0)
  • Saffy's Angel (Casson Family, #1)
  • Indigo's Star (Casson Family, #2)
  • Permanent Rose (Casson Family, #3)
  • Caddy Ever After (Casson Family, #4)
Saffy's Angel (Casson Family, #1) Indigo's Star (Casson Family, #2) Permanent Rose (Casson Family, #3) Caddy Ever After (Casson Family, #4) The Exiles (The Exiles, #1)

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“He will grow up into one of those people who lean back to smile and jump so easily it looks like slow motion and steer cars with their knees and snitch roses from gardens to give to girls and write with their left hand and own two pairs of jeans and one jacket and fall in love from such a height and so hard and so completely that they never quite recover from the drop.

But at least he will have me to look out for him.”
“Kiran says (the shelf) is full of stories. If it is, then I like fairy stories. Fairy stories are fair. In them wishes are granted, words are enchanted, the honest and brave make it safely through to the last page and the baddies either have to give up their wickedness for ever and ever, no going back, or get ruthlessly written out of the story, which they hardly ever survive. Also in fairy stories there are hardly any of those half-good half-bad people that crop up so constantly in real life and are so difficult to believe in...” 10 likes
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