Customer Reviews for

The Red Rose Box

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2012


    I really liked the book. This book was very interesting. The inly partni dont likenabout the book is that the ending leaves you in suspense..

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Red Rose Box By: Brenda Woods Review by Jessica Helwig I have never known what it is like to be a young African American female living in the segregated south in 1953; however Brenda Woods gives the readers of The Red Rose Box the feeling as if

    I have never known what it is like to be a young African American female living in the segregated south in 1953; however Brenda Woods gives the readers of The Red Rose Box the feeling as if they are there with the main character Leah Hopper. The Red Rose Box shows the journey young Leah Hopper goes through as she moves from a poor family in Sulpher, LA to a non-segregated Los Angeles, California.
    This story is told from first person by a ten year old girl Leah. Leah's innocence and persistence throughout the book brings new light to the journey a young girl goes through as her body changes and she moves from one cultural setting to the complete opposite. Leah's sister who is also her best friend, Ruth joins Leah on her journey of growth and lean on each other throughout the book.
    Leah receives a package from her Aunt Olivia for her tenth birthday, a Red Rose Box. Inside the box there are all sorts of gifts that a young girl would love to have such as a real watch and costume jewelry that looked real. Leah uses this box to hold her most important items and she keeps it locked and hidden away from her mother. Leah, Ruth, her mother and her gramma go to visit her Aunt Olivia in Los Angeles. They have a nice visit and see that Los Angeles is not segregated like Sulpher. Leah is surprised by the fact that they can go into stores where whites are and drink out of the same drinking fountains. After they return home Leah's mother receives a letter from Aunt Olivia to ask them to go to New York City with her. Leah's mother, Rita, allows Leah and Ruth to go to New York with Aunt Olivia. Rita cannot go because she needs to stay in Sulpher and take care of Miss Lilly. While in New York City a hurricane hits Sulpher and kills their parents and most others in the town. Gramma and her friend are saved. After this disaster, Ruth and Leah have to live with their Aunt Olivia in Los Angeles. This is a major culture shock for girls who used to walk barefoot to a one room school house, help their mom with Miss Lilly's laundry and play simple games with their friends. In Los Angeles the girls wear new clothes and nice shoes to a bigger school. There is no sign of the racial prejudice that they are used to from growing up in Sulpher. They are able to be friends with children of other nationalities and Leah has a crush on the neighbor boy, Gilbert Martinez, who is Hispanic. After a visit from her gramma Leah is finally starting to come to peace with her parents' death. By the end of the book Leah Hopper has matured and gone through major changes in her life and has shown strength and persistence time after time.
    Surprisingly this is Brenda Woods' first novel. She has written other short stories and screen plays however she seems to write novels so naturally. Throughout the book I could feel myself with Leah and her family as they moved from place to place. This is a great book suggested for 9-12 year olds. This is a great book showing the struggles young women went through in the segregated south and also the struggles young women today face.

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  • Posted March 3, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The Red Rose Box is a very good read, but also has a interesting view on how segregation affect young African Americans.

    The Red Rose Box by Brenda Woods is a story of two southern girls from Sulphur, Louisiana that dream of living in a world with no segregation laws. The main character named Leah Jean Hopper and her sister Ruth want to leave Sulphur and know what true freedom is all about. On Leah's 11th birthday she receives a box with a red rose on it. The box is from her Aunt Olivia that lives in Los Angeles. Leah and her family visit aunt Olivia in Los Angeles and she discovers a new and wonderful place with no segregation. Leah really notices the difference when she returns to Sulphur and can't do the same things in Louisiana that she did in California. Her aunt Olivia invites Leah and Ruth to New York, but while their she suffers a horrible loss. Her mother and father are killed in a hurricane. After that she lives with her aunt and uncle and learns to live on after her loss of her family.
    I thought the story was very well written because it really made me feel for Leah and wanted her to succeed and rise above the segregation. The story had a great sense to add how the troubles of the segregated south was really hard for African Americans and how they dealt with it. Leah and Ruth wanted to leave desperately, but after her parents died Leah wanted to return to what felt normal. Great way to show children that there are some things in life that you just need to move on from. This story has great examples of some difficult topics for older elementary children and middle school students to read about including death, acceptance, and race. Overall I would recommend this book for readers trying to gain an insight on how life was for young African Americans during the civil rights. It can really give you as a reader a different perspective on how tough life was for African Americans in the segregated south.

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