Hilary McKay won the Guardian Children's Award with her first novel, The Exiles. Her subsequent work has achieved similar recognition - The Exiles at Home won the Smarties Prize and Saffy's Angel won the Whitbread. A graduate of Botany and Zoology from St Andrews University, Hilary now writes full-time. She lives in Derbyshire with her husband and two children.
Gr 5-8-This third book about the eccentric and artistic Casson family follows closely in time after Indigo's Star (S & S, 2004). It's the last week of summer vacation, and no one has heard from Indy's friend Tom Levin, who has returned to America. Eight-year-old Rose is particularly heartbroken about his lack of communication and has spent the summer eagerly awaiting the post. Ex-bully and gang member David, who has shown up to become Indy's friend, is drawn more deeply into the family when he discovers Rose shoplifting, a newfound habit that almost leads to disaster. McKay's prose captures the heat of late summer and the confused emotions of the Casson siblings. The plot unfolds at an almost breakneck pace, revealing 19-year-old Caddy's uncomfortable engagement, Saffy's quest to find her biological father, and Rose's quest to communicate with Tom. Indigo's discovery of Le Morte D'Arthur highlights the theme of quests as Rose discovers her charming and distant father's feet of clay even as he helps her find Tom. McKay dishes out humor and pathos in equal proportions. There is more than a hint of father Bill's caddish behavior and some of the reason for mother Eve's vagueness as she dumps gin into her Diet Coke, but the siblings and doltish David, who becomes a hero at last, are clever, frank, and loyal. This rollicking story is sure to keep this family's old fans and capture new ones.-Kathryn Kosiorek, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Brooklyn, OH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Permanent Rose is the antidote to everything that's bad in children's books and, indeed, everything that's bad in life... there are no hard edges but no sentimental slop either, in this beguiling story. -- The Sunday Telegraph 20050327 McKay has a genius for domestic comedy. Her books are also imbued with an ethos of tolerance and acceptance. This unconventional family ... has become, with our increasing knowledge of its members, a kind of model of how to make the most of life. -- The Sunday Times 20050327 From the opening scene ... McKay's third story about the vibrant Casson family is entrancing. -- The Guardian 20050327 Rose Casson is the kind of girl we should all want to be... A great sequel to Saffy's Angel and Indigo's Star. -- Family Interest Magazine 20050327 'McKay's strength lies in her ability to craft an unputdownable story from everyday happenings, and to handle serious issues and emotions with real lightness. She evokes the whole Casson family so vividly that the reader can imagine their lives going on uniterupted even after the book has been closed. Highly recommended.' -- Bookfest 20050327 'Realistic dialogue and irresistible characters enliven the tale.' -- School Library Journal 20050327
In a starred review, PW wrote, "McKay creates characters so fully formed that readers can enjoy this as a standalone-but will more likely scamper off to find the earlier novels about the Casson family." Ages 8-12. (Dec.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.