Amber's mum is different. I don't want to tell you how different she is because finding out was one of the most breathtaking parts of this novel and I simply can't spoil it for you.
Needless to say, Amber's mum is indeed different to most mums and all Amber knows is that this difference is hard to cope with. She misses her old mum. The one who used to sing and dance and paint and smile.
The kids at school don't know about Amber's mum, not even her best friends who are all named after colours, trying in with a beautiful art thread in this story. Amber is frightened to tell them. The kids at her old school were mean and children sometimes don't react well when they see her mum, so Amber keeps her secret close.
When her teacher, Mrs Little announces there will be a special Mother's Day High Tea at school, Amber worries. Will her mum want to come along? And how will she explain her to the class, to her friends?
This is a beautifully-crafted, sensitive and touching creation from an author who knows verse novels very, very well. The depth of her characters, the emotional responses and fears, the gentle hope, is heart-wrenching in all manner of ways. I spent a great deal of time crying through this short book, but not in a way you would expect--not out of pity or desperation or pain but rather from complete empathy (something a good author will readily elicit) and an intense appreciation of the depth of hope and love.
There are teachers' notes available for this book.
Title: Roses are Blue
Author: Sally Murphy
Illustrator: Gabriel Evans
Publisher: Walker Books, $16.95 RRP
Publication Date: 1 July 2014
For ages: 6 - 12
Type: Junior Fiction, Verse Novel
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