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Rose (Rose #1)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  1,847 Ratings  ·  244 Reviews
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 reali ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 3rd 2013 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (first published August 6th 2009)
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Faolmor My 7yo just finished it, and enjoyed it. She isn't easily scared, though, so the darker parts of the book excited her, rather than frightened.

I'd say…more
My 7yo just finished it, and enjoyed it. She isn't easily scared, though, so the darker parts of the book excited her, rather than frightened.

I'd say it's pitched at 8 - 12 year olds.(less)
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienMatilda by Roald DahlHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingAlice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Magical children's books
396 books — 143 voters
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettJane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëAnne of Green Gables by L.M. MontgomerySecrets of the Realm by Bev Stout
551 books — 263 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Maybe 3.5 Stars

This was billed as "Downton Abbey" meets "Harry Potter" -- so tantalizing! I don't feel it really delivered, though. On one hand, I really enjoyed some parts of it--there was charm, humor and some interesting world-building at times. I was intrigued with the idea of magic belonging to the upper class--it seems that only upper-class are wizards, and magic can be bought and sold, such that only the wealthy can afford to have magical things/spells. I feel that the author tried to sho
Maddie (Heart Full Of Books)
The first time I read this, years ago, I was on a train home from London. The scene that really stuck with me was when Rose was choosing which sweets she wanted with the first bit of money she'd earned. I don't really know why I'll always remember chocolate satins, but I will.

Finding more magical middle grade to read as been so wonderful! Rose is just the thing I'd usually love, I'm so pleased to discover the books again, even if I'm much older now!
Like a bullet whizzing past your ear, I shudder when I consider how close I came to never hearing about Holly Webb's mesmerizing, charming, purely delightful Rose. It's an innocuous little book. Doesn't draw a lot of attention to itself. The American cover, while attractive, simply shows a girl in a servant's clothing and a white cat while the title swirls about suggestively. The book isn't even available in the States in hardcover (!) but paperback, thereby guaranteeing that only the sharpest o ...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
This book had a very promising start, but then it morphed into "Annie" meets the British theatre version of "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" meets a Harry Potter spinoff: magic, a child-snatcher, and broken locket as important element. The writing is uneven; lots and lots of buildup, and then all the real action takes place in the last 40 pages or so. The action is therefore incomplete, rushed and "oh look--I couldn't write a well-rounded standalone, so the door is wide open for a whooooole series!"

I a
Nov 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars.

I read this a few years ago, I think, when I was about 10 or 11...? I found it an interesting read; the storyline was good and definitely intriguing, the character was intersting and the whole idea of it was good. I found, pretty much, this whole book a good read! I would recommend it to people who like fantasy and magic.
A problem I can highlight, and this is quite a big one, is that near the end of
Sep 20, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bear
This book is supposed to be a junior read according to the library catalogue.
However, the last few chapters are quite scary and younger readers might find the scenes disturbing.
As an adult, I know I did.
Kayla Eklund
*NOTE:This is a review of the entire series*

Typically, I don't read a lot of middle grade novels. I used to love them when I was younger. As an adult, I feel that I am so beyond the intended audience that the magic and wonder is lost on me. However, I've been on this kick lately where all I want to read is middle grade. I'm glad that I am. I read all of the Rose series by Holly Webb in one day, and I loved it. It brought all of the magic and wonder back into reading middle grade novels.

Holly Web
The Styling Librarian
I received Rose by Holly Webb from Netgalley to review and just couldn’t wait to read it. It was released in the UK for a while but is newly being released in the US. I look forward to getting this whole series ordered over here in Hong Kong. I have a feeling I’ll be able to get the UK edition of the books though! Pretty bright covers for them!

I recently sat with my son and watched the movie Annie and he was pretty astounded that I knew most of the words to most of the songs. I’d forgotten how m
Rebecca McNutt
Rose was a really creative, magical story and I really liked the characters and plot.
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Трогателна история за сираче, притежаващо мощна магия, твърдо решено да прави добри дела.
Myra Blake
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
Fun and fascinating read. Great for readers who enjoy magic.
Victoria (RedsCat)
Oct 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2016
I'm completely charmed by the first in this series about orphan Rose. Delightful story, with unique twists and a great cast of characters.
May 24, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pleasant surprise in a fairly standard story line. Young Rose is an orphan living in an orphanage. It isn't horrid - they are fed and clothed and relatively safe. It is the orphanage of Daddy Long Legs - where any sense of individuality and creativity is frowned upon because its difficult to manage. Unlike other girls, Rose isn't mooning over the dream of a wealthy family to discover her. She wants to be out and working, her OWN job, her OWN money. She wants to work hard, do a good job. The di ...more
Mary Catelli
May 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the story of a girl from an orphanage. After a bit where she spins a fellow orphan a tale about how she was lost, a woman comes to the orphanage for a second housemaid at the house of Mr. Fountain, alchemist, and member of the royal court.

She meets there the cook, Bill who's friendly, Susan, the first housemaid, who's not -- Freddie, Mr. Fountain's apprentice, Isabelle his daughter -- and discovers the house is very odd to her, though not to her fellow servants. Plus Gus, the cat, will t
I came upon this book quite by accident and since my name happens to be Rose, I decided to read it. The main character, Rose was placed in a fish basket as a baby and left on the front steps of St. Bridget's Home for Abandoned Girls. All of the girls in this home are taught to read and write and most importantly how to be a maid in an upper class home in London. When Rose is ten years old she is chosen to live in the mansion of a famous alchemist who does magic for royalty. After living there on ...more
Oct 29, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-books
Gustavus is fab. everyone else=meh.
I read Rose for the first time when i was about 10 years old, and I instantly fell in love with the story, the characters, and the mystery that surrounded the magic and alchemy. It was one of my first forays into historical fiction, and I still remember being so excited to learn that one year, the Thames really did freeze over.

Reading this was like an instant hit of nostalgia - I read the first sentence and the plot came flooding back to me. The whimsical magic system and charmingly precocious
Gina (My Precious Blog)
Its embarrassing to admit, the number one reason for my attraction to this book - cover lust. This series originally published in the UK had completely different covers, ugly covers which never would have drawn me in. When it released in the USA they designed an entirely different cover set and that's when the story caught my eye. I'm so happy it did because otherwise I would have missed out on an absolutely adorable new series about a magical orphan girl called Rose. Rose resides at an orphanag ...more

For a while, I wasn't actually sure I wanted to finish this book. But I did, so I guess--in the end--there was enough to keep me reading. I think it was mostly that I just kept hoping it would get better. It wasn't terrible. But it wasn't good, either. And I'm disappointed about that, because I think it could have been a wonderful tale of mystery and intrigue, set against an alternate-universe backdrop that had the potential to be so exciting!

- Rose, our orphaned main character. Easily likea
Aug 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Holly Webb’s Rose (Rose #1) is a fun middle-grade read that enchanted and charmed me. Set in an alternate Victorian England where magic is real and those who have it are called alchemists and have great power and wealth, this story is all about one very special orphan. Ten year old Rose doesn’t dream of being whisked away from the orphanage by a new family. She wants nothing more than to find a job and make her own way in life, and she gets the chance when she’s hired as a maid in the grand home ...more
Oct 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rose is a young orphan who experiences a rise in fortune when she's hired as a maid since she's the most sensible girl her orphanage had. Her new employer is an alchemist, and in his strange house, Rose quickly starts to realize that she has magic too. But first, she has to figure out why so many children are disappearing.

Originally published in England, ROSE is the beginning of a series, but it stands on its own quite well. (That's the American quite, not the Queen's one.) It's a common story -
Alanna (The Flashlight Reader)
First let me start by saying how glad I am they changed the cover. The original (pictured here) was an eye sore. I would have never picked it up with that cover. But the new cover has a delightful, whimsical font that just called to me. I did not realize that this book is not brand new. In fact, it was originally published in 2009. Given that dreadful cover that looked like a bottle of Pepto Bismol exploded on it, it's easy for me to see why I never knew this existed.

Unfortunately, I read this
Oct 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, ya-kid-lit
This was a book with lots of good features. There is the basic story of an orphan being taken from the orphanage to serve as a maid in a wealthy household. The master of the house is an alchemist, so there is magic to make things exciting. Then there is the mystery of children disappearing from the neighborhood. And the character of Rose is a very likable girl. She works hard, has realistic plans for her life, and is loyal to her friends (old and new). Rose's relationships with other members of ...more
Mollie Fredrickson
I was sure I wanted to read 'Rose' when I saw it laid out as part of the current favourites in the book shop. The cover is awfully inviting, with its bold, but not tacky colours, its shimmering magical stars and the intriguing Rose front and centre. Then after reading the description, I was even more sure I wanted to read it.
Straight away we charmed by Rose's strength and matter-of-fact nature, as she seems so comfortable in her own skin and with the apparent role of looking after her friend Ma
Abandoned as an infant, Rose has only known the Orphanage - a life of not quite enough food, far too much hard work, and all sorts of rules designed to turn out ideal servants in a Regency-Victorian kind of world. She longs to get out. Not to run away, but simply to finally have a job, earn a wage, and just a tiny fraction more freedom.

Being chosen as a new maid in the house of an alchemist, Mr Fountain, is a wonderful development for her, even if the house is a little strange, with its magical
Dec 07, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Rose was an orphan who lived at St Bridget's Home for Abandoned Girls. She had been abandoned as a baby with nothing to show of where she came from; except possibly an unusual talent. But even her name was borrowed from the rose bush at the orphanage.

While other girls daydreamed of one day finding loving, and wealthy, parents who would one day return for them, Rose was imagining more practical dreams. All she wanted was employment as a maid, her own wages and freedom from the orphanage. One day
Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
I'm still trying to decide if I liked this book. It had a lot of potential. This initially had a "Little Princess" feel to it, but with "magic" beyond what Rose could control. If she wanted to control, or acknowledge her "gift" at all was (I think) the main theme to this book. It starts off really well, but turns quite darker than I expected toward the end...and the story ends so widely open for the next book in the series that one had no sense of closure--or ACCOMPLISHMENT--at all. "Hey, there ...more
Nov 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, childrens
A sweet book, and one where I can already think of several people who would enjoy it, and will therefore be recommending. I will likely read the sequels if I run across them, but don't feel compelled to immediately track them down. It was almost a four star book, but I just could not believe in a character who, when presented with the opportunity - multiple times - to transition from a life of servitude and endless backbreaking work to a world of magic and wonder and riches, would continually ke ...more
May 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-the-kindle
Delightful little magical children's book of much the same tone as Liesl & Po. Entirely wonderful. Nice uncomplicated reading for in-between patients at work. A little bit of whimsy, but a lot of things are overly simple (in an effort to make things easier for younger readers to understand, I suppose, though I find that children can comprehend a great deal more than we give them credit for).

One little thing that keeps coming to mind, though: I really could not understand why Rose (view spoi
Jul 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Rose has grown up in an orphanage, and at age 10, gets chosen to be undermaid at the local Alchemist's mansion. Seriously awesome and fun mashup of classic British orphan tales and magic. I was totally sucked in- even if the mystery wasn't so much mysterious as dead obvious and unsubtle. Characterization was fun, magic introduced in a gradual manner as Rose learned about it and I loved Freddie, Isabella and Gus as much as Rose. This is a complete four book series in England and we're finally get ...more
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How did you like this book? 4 5 May 22, 2015 11:42AM  
Rose 1 4 Jul 23, 2013 02:07PM  
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Holly Webb is the author of Dog Magic, Cat Magic, and Lost in the Snow. She has always loved animals and owns two very spoiled cats. They haven't said a word to her yet, but she's always listening, just in case! She lives in England.
More about Holly Webb

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“was remembering the illustrations from Morally Instructive Tales for the Nursery, which was one of the books in the schoolroom. The two little boys who owned the boat in the original story fought about who got to sail it first, which obviously meant that one of them drowned in the fountain. Most of the books in the schoolroom had endings like that. Rose quite enjoyed working out the exact point when the characters were beyond hope. It was usually when they lied to get more jam.” 3 likes
“I lied to you. You did save us. There, happy now?” he asked the cat. “No,” Rose and the cat said it together, and the cat added, “You should grovel. Make him grovel, girl, you saved his skin.” 1 likes
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