Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Rosetown” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.63  ·  Rating details ·  414 ratings  ·  145 reviews
From Newbery Medalist Cynthia Rylant comes the charming story of nine-year-old Flora Smallwood and the eventful year she spends in the quiet community of Rosetown, Indiana.

For nine-year-old Flora Smallwood, Rosetown, Indiana, is full of surprises, many of the best of which happen at the Wing and a Chair Used Book Shop, where she loves to read vintage children’s books after
Hardcover, 149 pages
Published May 8th 2018 by Beach Lane Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Rosetown, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Rosetown

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  414 ratings  ·  145 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Rosetown, much like the novels of Lynne Rae Perkins and Kevin Henkes, finds profundity not in intense drama or a high-stakes plot, but the banalities of regular life. It relates the quiet story of nine-year-old Flora Smallwood in 1972 small-town America. Flora is sad that her parents are separated; they aren't divorced, just living in different houses, but Flora feels the hurt even if she never vocalizes it. To make it worse, her dog Laurence died this past spring, and Flora takes comfort by coz ...more
Ms. Yingling
Feb 28, 2018 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Flora Smallwood lives in Rosetown, Indiana in 1972. Her mother works at a vintage bookstore, a Wing and a Chair, and her father is a newspaper reporter. Life is very slow paced and mild, although there are some sad things-- her parents are separated, her dog has recently died, and the ripples of the Vietnam war are still being felt. She has a good friend, Vanessa, and another friend, Yury, whose father is a local doctor from the Ukraine. Flora and Yury are training his n
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book earns a contended sigh. Flora Smallwood's favorite place in the world is Wings and a Chair Used Books on Main Street in Rosetown, Indiana. Three afternoons a week she curls up in the purple velveteen chair reading "extra vintage" books. Over the course of her fourth grade school year (1972-1973) old soul Flora welcomes a new friend from the Ukraine into her life, travels back and forth between her recently separated parents' houses, and adopts a beloved cat, Serenity.
Although there is
Sarah Johnson
Although it is well written with flawless language, the story felt saccharine and lacked depth. I wasn’t a fan of the omniscient narrator. I think there is an audience for this book, but it wasn’t for me.
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
What is sweeter than listening to a story about bookshops, old books and the slow rhythm of a forgotten and small town?


It's not usual from a nine years old girl to value her monotonous life in a modest quiet place like Rosetown. Flora knew that the world outside this unknown Idaho town is vast and more colourful. Yet, her passion for exploring that world didn't make her less sure that nothing will be more previous to her heart than home.
It's a sincere feeling that is no more being felt.
The sl
May 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids-books
I really like Cynthia Rylant.

I also like kids books set in the 50's, 60's and 70's because it's modern, but also a history lesson as it's when their parents and grandparents were kids!

I think this book would be good for kids who just want a nice story, no drama or craziness happening. It's just the story of a little girl going thru her 4th grade year--including her parents being separated, making new friends and having new experiences.

Also, it showed the main character really knowing herself (s
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg
Cynthia Rylant celebrates the daily life of Flora, a young girl who lives in Rosetown, Indiana. The plot is nothing to write home about: she makes friends, her parents are separated, she's getting used to 4th grade, she finds a cat. But that's the point. The magic is all in the telling, as in this description of Christmas vacation: "It was wonderful to have these long, empty winter days that she could fill up however she liked. But Flora also looked forward to going back to school, even in the s ...more
Katie Fitzgerald
Flora Smallwood and her parents live in Rosetown, Indiana, home to Flora's favorite used bookstore, Wings and a Chair, her new friend Yury, who has moved from the Ukraine and shares her love for vintage children's books, and her oldest friend, Nessy, who has been by her side since the girls were five years old. Flora loves Rosetown, but she does not love the feelings of uncertainty surrounding the recent death of her dog, her parents' separation, and the start of fourth grade. Thankfully, howeve ...more
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Such a sweet and a simple story where not much happens but it is well written. I enjoyed its simplicity.
Alex (not a dude) Baugh
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's 1972 and Flora Smallwood, age 9, has been living in Rosetown, Indiana her whole life. Her mother always said that Indiana had balance and Flora couldn't agree more when she thought about Rosetown. And although Flora loves everything about her hometown, her very favorite place is reading vintage books in the purple velveteen chair in the window of the Wing and a Chair Used Book Shop. Luckily, she can do that three days a week while her mom works, helping shop owner, Miss Meriwether.

Now, howe
The Library Lady
Is this a book for a kid?
Catch this bit:"he was, Flora thought, a lost soul. She was not sure why she thought he was lost. "
Is this how a 10 year old in 1972 would think about their father?
Nota Bene: I was 11 in 1972 myself, and I surely didn't muse about my dad that way.
And "with him Flora was beginning to build that precious thing called friendship."

"Precious" is a word I'd use here. What reviewers might call "poetic" is simply mawkish, reminiscent of what a much less gifted writer, trying to
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Flora lives in Rosetown, Indiana, taking turns living with each of her parents who are taking a break. Her mother works three afternoons a week in Wings and a Chair Used Books and Flora enjoys sitting in the purple velveteen chair by the window and reading "extra vintage" books for young readers. Despite the recent loss of Laurence, the beloved family dog (which occurred right before her parents' trial separation) and the difficulties of fourth grade, Flora thrives in the love her parents have f ...more
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Book #99 Read in 2018
Rosetown by Cynthia Rylant

Flora loves her small town. Three afternoons a week, she meets her mother after school in the used book store where her mother works. Her father is a photographer. She has good friends. Her parents have separated but both make sure she has the best of both worlds. This is a touching read, of a small town that readers will want to live in. This book would be a great read for upper elementary and middle school readers, ideally.
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
To finish a book and feel a bright yellow happiness inside is a rare treasure.

Such a sweet and simple book. A peek into the "mildly bad" moments of a year in an innocent and kind young girl's life.

Revealed to me how much I, as Brené Brown says, "wait for the other shoe to fall."
Nov 30, 2018 added it
Shelves: jf-general
Sweet, quiet story about a little girl's ninth year. Some family dynamics, some new friendships and new pets. But beautifully written, and although not a thriller or adventure; still a page turner.
Jordan Henrichs
Sep 02, 2018 rated it liked it
While this is charming and well-written, it is highly idyllic in setting, voice, and feel.
Jenna Knepp
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read the side and I thought I try it but it ended up being a really good book, I would read much more often if more books were like this because it was really easy to relate to!!!
Aug 05, 2018 rated it did not like it
This was just disappointing and boring; there's no actual story happening. I'm well aware that everyday life in Indiana is monotonous, but there is no conflict or progression here.
And the language feels completely unnatural and exaggerated, both the narrator's language and the characters' dialogue. No one speaks like this in real life, particularly 4th graders in Indiana.
Nov 21, 2018 added it
A slow picaresque that wants to be charming and is to a degree, celebrating the joys of being firmly rooted in the past and a beloved place. I picked up this book because I have a sensitive 9 year old daughter who, like the protagonist Flora, recently suffered the loss of a beloved pet; I thought the book would speak to this subject, but it didn't much. Most of the book's initial problems are solved too quickly, and many of the pieces improbably don't meet up. Still, it leaves a generally pleasa ...more
Franki Sibberson
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved this one--loved the writing, loved the characters, loved the ordinariness of the year told.
Leonard Kim
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Idealized life of an idealized child in an idealized Midwestern small town. The idealization comes from being deliberately old-fashioned. It’s not the feat of mimicry that The Doorman’s Repose by Raschka was, but like that book, it doesn’t seem really for children so much as for adults nostalgic for a bygone style of children’s book. For all that, Rylant’s writing is good and not disingenuous, and I enjoyed this.
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I will always & forever find juvenile fiction, particularly those reads for the newly independent reader, to be the most splendidly perfect type of reads.

Who couldn't relate to Flora? A very observant 9 yr old who is experiencing a year of fluctuation - not all of it good - in an idyllic town (Rosetown) located in Indiana, during the 1970s. Small town America - a fine representation!

I felt transported back in time to my very own 1970s childhood. Christmas in this 4th grader's yr of life is t
Jun 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Not a bad way to spend two and a half hours of a road trip, but that blurb is kidding when it describes anything in this slow slice-of-town-life tale as “eventful.”
Stephanie Bange
Apr 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Cynthia is one of the quietest, most literate storytellers today. This book is no exception.

Set in 1972 in fictional small town Rosetown, IN, nine-year-old Flora Smallwood is at a crossroads in life. Her parents have separated, her beloved dog has just died, and she is apprehensive about starting fourth grade. She befriends new kid in town, Yuri, who recently immigrated from the Ukraine. The two explore what it is like to grow up together.

Once again, Rylant fills a small fictional town with char
Cynthia Rylant cannot write a bad book. In this mid grade novel we follow 9 year old Flora Smallwood through her fourth grade year in the 1970's small town of Rosetown, Indiana. It's a year of ups and downs as Flora struggles a little with fourth grade (so much harder than third!). Her parents are having some problems so they separate and she has to get used to living in two houses and her dear old dog Laurence has passed away as well. On the positive side, Flora has a good friend Vanessa (Ness ...more
Vicky Reads MG
“Rosetown” Is A Cozy Read In Our Chaotic World

3.5 stars

You can read this review in full on my blog

Friendship, forgiveness, and self-discovery reside in the pages of Rosetown, a charming little book with big messages prettily packaged and delivered in a whisper-soft tone.

Sensitive and precocious 9-year-old Flora Smallwood has lived in Rosetown, Indiana since she was born. It’s 1972 and the Vietnam War is still raging while in the tiny town of Rosetown Flora is faced with fallout of a dif

Dorine White
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 to
Tonja Drecker
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
With a gentleness fitting to the town of Rosetown, a girl discovers the wonders of friendship and how life works its own unexpected twists and turns.

Flora is a little down since her dog died. Having her parent separated and switching between two different bedrooms isn't making matters better. But the friendship with a new boy at school as well as the connection to a friend she already knows, offers more upswing than she could have ever suspected.

This isn't a book with high adventure, nor is ther
Cindy Hudson
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Flora Smallwood’s life is changing when she starts fourth grade in Rosetown, the small Indiana community where she lives. Everyone else in her class seems to have grown confident of themselves over summer, but Flora is feeling off balance with her parents’ separation. She goes back and forth between their two homes while they figure out what they want to do about their marriage.

Flora has always found comfort reading at Wings and a Chair Used Books, where her mom works three afternoons a week, an
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
Flora is a quiet child, who loves the purple chair in the window of the used book store more than any other place. That’s particularly true now that her parents are separated and living in different houses from one another. Flora has also lost her dog recently, so things feel very off kilter. Even fourth grade seems very different from other school years. Still, as Flora navigates the changes in her life, she also has some happy surprises. She meets Yury, a boy from the Ukraine, who enjoys anima ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts
  • Catching a Storyfish
  • That Is My Dream!
  • The Question of Miracles
  • A Dog's Way Home
  • Adam et Thomas
  • Cody and the Mysteries of the Universe
  • My Cousin Momo
  • The Cat From Hunger Mountain
  • Wonderland
  • Hope in the Holler
  • Applesauce Weather
  • Bo at Ballard Creek
  • Twelve Kinds of Ice
  • Juana & Lucas
  • Weekends with Max and His Dad
  • Matylda, Bright and Tender
  • Wild Blues
See similar books…
An author of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for children and young adults as well as an author and author/illustrator of picture books for children, Cynthia Rylant is recognized as a gifted writer who has contributed memorably to several genres of juvenile literature. A prolific author who often bases her works on her own background, especially on her childhood in the West Virginia mountains, she ...more
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »