Sarah's Stars

Zelda Freedman. Rosie’s Dream Cape
Ronsdale Press  $8.95  ISBN 1-55380-025-7  113 pg.
Reviewed by Rebecca, Age 13

The lights dimmed and suddenly the orchestra burst into music. The red and orange silk curtain shimmered as it slowly lifted to the ceiling. And then dancers floated onto the stage, one by one, on tiptoes.

Rosie’s Dream Cape is quite simple, yet flowing and descriptive, a story about Rosie Swedlove; a bright young girl wishing only that she herself could have a cape just like her ballerina mother's. Rosie was a very clever and talented girl, but yet there was just that something keeping her away from her dream. Rosie, being a Jewish girl, had lived in Russia until 1921, following the death of her mother. After that, she and Bubba Sarah, her grandmother, fled to Toronto for a better life. There, however, Rosie started working in a sweatshop making capes and coats for upper-class women, working long hours and coping with a demanding boss. The only thing that he was extremely serious about was, “DON’T steal the scraps,” but Rosie was determined that she would get that cape she had always dreamed about.

The author, Zelda Freedman wrote this book as a promise to her mother, Rosie Swedlove, who wanted people to know about her hard working years in the sweatshop. Zelda resides in Ottawa, Ontario and has worked as a professional writer for the last 11 years. Since retiring, Zelda Freedman has become a professional potter, painter and weaver. Rosie’s Dream Cape was Zelda Freedman’s first children’s book and is a soft cover novel with 113 pages.

Overall, I thought that Rosie’s Dream Cape was an extremely worthwhile and informative read, caringly weaved together into a delicate story. It left me warm and content with the ending, so much that I couldn’t sleep because I was thinking about the book for hours. It is especially appealing because it is a true story. I think that this story would appeal to readers aged 10 to 14, but an interesting read for all ages. I gladly give this book 4 stars!

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