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ROSE SEES RED by Cecil Castellucci


by Cecil Castellucci

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-545-06079-0
Publisher: Scholastic

An ’80s movie in novel form: A smart, painfully lonely teen finds an unlikely connection to the daughter of officials from the Soviet Union, and together they go on the all-night New York City adventure of a lifetime, finding love, friendship and laughter along the way. This spare, powerful story of friendship and art (both are ballerinas; American Rose struggles to succeed while Soviet Yrena dances beautifully but hates it) loses something by virtue of a setting that is historical but too recent to be the stuff of history classes (and is thus unfamiliar to the target audience); without a sense of the Cold War era, readers will find much here perplexing. Moreover, the journey concludes at a No Nukes rally, and the message (people are people, the rest is politics) briefly overwhelms the story. Rose’s simple, occasionally staccato narration conveys a poetry and grace, and the respect for the struggle to say something—through art in particular—comes across on every page. Not for everyone, but artists will appreciate seeing themselves evoked so sympathetically. (Historical fiction. 12 & up)