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Rosa, Sola [Hardcover]

Carmela A. Martino
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

9 Aug 2005
Both heart-rending and full of hope, this rich, sympathetic portrayal of an only child coping with loss takes readers back to an earlier generation.

Living with her Italian immigrant parents in 1960s Chicago, nine-year-old Rosa, an only child, often feels SOLA and different. But as soon as she holds her friend AnnaMaria's baby brother for the first time, Rosa is sure that if she prays hard enough, God will give her a sibling too. Amazingly, Ma does get pregnant, and Rosa is overjoyed — until the awful day comes when she learns that her brother was stillborn, and Ma, who is weak and grieving, must stay in the hospital for a while. With her papa bitter and rarely home, and her bossy aunt Ida in charge, Rosa has an "empty cave" feeling and now is more SOLA than ever. Why would God answer her prayers, only to take her baby brother away? Will her broken family ever be happy again?

From first-time novelist Carmela A. Martino comes a note-perfect portrait of a sensitive young grl surrounded by an extended family of loyal relatives, neighbors, and friends. Challenged by loss and ulitmately bolstered by hope, Rosa will win readers' hearts as she makes the discovery that she's not alone — and that love and kinship are sometimes found in the most unexpected places.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA) (9 Aug 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763623954
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763623951
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 13.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,334,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Rosa & the Rosary 24 Aug 2005
By BeatleBangs1964 TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
This story covers July 4, 1966 until the summer of 1967. Rosa, going into 4th grade the summer of 1966 longs for a sibling. She lives in a neighborhood where most of her playmates have siblings; her best friend AnnaMaria is the oldest in a family of four.
Rosa helps AnnaMaria's mother with baby Antonio, 3-year-old Luisa and 5-year-old Caterina. She envies AnnaMaria and thinks of how lucky she is to have three siblings. She turns to prayer, saying a daily rosary for a sibling.
When Rosa's mother announces she is pregnant, nobody could be happier than Rosa. She does everything she can to prepare the house for the baby's birth. Her prayers have been answered.
Sadly, on May 1, 1967 her brother Joseph arrived stillborn. A pall falls over the entire family; a kind neighbor and other relatives pitch in to try to help Rosa's family move through their great loss.
An excellent story about tragedy, bonding and learning to tolerate and understand one another's differences. When Rosa firsts visits the graveyard where her brother is buried, she is dismayed that Joseph has no headstone. It is her aunt and older uncle who, having lived through tragic losses of their own who come through when least expected.
I like the way Italian words are included in the book and the rich Italian culture that was part of this story. I also like the way some of the older characters referred to Italy affectionately as "the old country." This is a book that will long remain in the minds of readers, long after they have read the last page.
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rosa & the Rosary 21 Aug 2005
By BeatleBangs1964 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This story covers July 4, 1966 until the summer of 1967. Rosa, going into 4th grade the summer of 1966 longs for a sibling. She lives in a neighborhood where most of her playmates have siblings; her best friend AnnaMaria is the oldest in a family of four.

Rosa helps AnnaMaria's mother with baby Antonio, 3-year-old Luisa and 5-year-old Caterina. She envies AnnaMaria and thinks of how lucky she is to have three siblings. She turns to prayer, saying a daily rosary for a sibling.

When Rosa's mother announces she is pregnant, nobody could be happier than Rosa. She does everything she can to prepare the hosue for the baby's birth. Her prayers have been answered.

Sadly, on May 1, 1967 her brother Joseph arrived stillborn. A pall falls over the entire family; a kind neighbor and other relatives pitch in to try to help Rosa's family move through their great loss.

An excellent story about tragedy, bonding and learning to tolerate and understand one another's differences. When Rosa firsts visits the graveyard where her brother is buried, she is dismayed that Joseph has no headstone. It is her aunt and older uncle who, having lived through tragic losses of their own who come through when least expected.

I like the way Italian words are included in the book and the rich Italian culture that was part of this story. I also like the way some of the older characters referred to Italy affectionately as "the old country." This is a book that will long remain in the minds of readers, long after they have read the last page.
4.0 out of 5 stars Read and Learn 18 Aug 2010
By Mary Sandford - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Rosa Sola is a wonderful story that really hooks the reader on the first page. You will be rooting for Rosa throughout the book, but have a box of tissue ready when things don't go the way Rosa hopes. This book is not only a thoughtful, intriguing, powerful story it's a great book for writers to study. Author Martino knows the formula for a successful book.
5.0 out of 5 stars the book reveiw of Rosa, Sola 15 Jan 2007
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The book review of Rosa, Sola

Rosa prayed rosary every night. The book that I want you to read is called Rosa,

Sola. Rosa is jealous because her best friend has a little brother. So Rosa fells really lonely (sola). She is the only child in her family. She prays and prays for a little brother named Joseph. Because people at her school make fun of her. The characters in this book are Rosa, Papa, Ma and Ant Ida. Rosa wants to have a baby brother so she prays and prays for one. Then her mom goes into the hospital to deliver while Ant Ida watches Rosa then her Papa calls and says the baby is there baby is here but.... The theme in this story is very loving. All the characters in the story stick together no matter what happens. Ant Ida is very kind she is like a mom to Rosa. Papa is exactly how a dad should be. Ma is very wiling if Rosa asks to make cookies her mom says get in the car to get the saples.Rosa is verey hopping she prays and prays for some thing she wants. The setting in this story is in a house in no ware land. It is about taken place in 1984. There house was a tan color. They lived in the state California.

I hope you get to read my story it is very loving, and emotional.
5.0 out of 5 stars Easily relatable for all children 23 Jun 2006
By KidsReads - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Rosa is the daughter of Italian immigrants in 1960s Chicago. This means that many of her classmates have large families, and Rosa loves to play with her best friend AnnaMaria's baby brother. She wonders why she doesn't have any brothers or sisters, and resolves to pray for one. Rosa learns that her mother sustained some injuries when she was born and may not be able to have any more children, but she continues to pray and is thrilled when her mother becomes pregnant.

Finally, Rosa feels like she fits in with her friends at school who talk about their siblings. Her Papa is sure it's going to be a boy who will carry on the family name. Her Aunts are happy but seem worried about Rosa's mother. At Christmas, Rosa's Aunt Claudia gets in a huge argument with Rosa's Papa about how the new baby will be left at the family olive grove in Italy when he or she is born; they do not speak for several months. Despite all this, Rosa is very excited about the special arrival and helps her mother get the bassinet ready.

When it's time for the baby to come, tragedy strikes, and Rosa is now cared for by Aunt Ida who does not seem to understand her at all. Her Papa comes home tired from the hospital and has little energy to even talk to her. She feels more alone, or sola, than ever before.

Rosa begins to learn more about her family history while spending time with relatives and realizes that other people also have been touched by sadness in their lives, which helps comfort her in some ways. Her mother does return to their apartment but is still very sick. Rosa determines that she will win the spelling contest at school this year and cheer her mother up; she wants to help pull the family out of its sadness.

Children of both immigrant and non-immigrant parents will be able to relate to the theme of wanting to belong, which is contained in this timeless story. Readers will love Rosa as she tries to be strong in the midst of her family's troubles.

--- Reviewed by Amy Alessio
5.0 out of 5 stars Rosa, Sola. An Awesome story 23 Sep 2005
By Judy Peters - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I loved Rosa, Sola! The author weaved her story through an amazing journey of laughter, sadness and pure honesty through the eyes of an eight year old. This is one book that I couldn't put down. I read it from cover to cover in one sitting. It is a book that not only children would like, but also a book that parents can to read to their children. The author developed her characters to the fullest. It was a fun study too, in basic Italian words. It leaves me waiting to see more of what this author has in store for us.
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