Feisty Rose takes center stage as the highly original Casson family faces a long, hot summer.
As usual, things are a bit chaotic. Eldest daughter Caddy is engaged to darling Michael, and she's not altogether sure she likes it. Saffy and Sarah are on a mission to find Saffy's biological father (while cultivating hearts of stone). Indigo is cautiously beginning a friendship with a reformed bully, who desperately wants to feel like part of the Casson family. Rose, while dreadfully missing Tom (whom none of them have heard from), enters into a life of petty crime, shoplifting small items until her misadventures nearly bring disaster. Through it all, Rose's single-minded determination to find Tom remains as fierce as it is hopeless. Or is it?
About the Author
Hilary McKay is the award-winning author of The Skylarks’ War (which was a Boston Globe Best Book, and received three starred reviews), Binny Bewitched (which was a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year and received two starred reviews), Binny in Secret (which received three starred reviews), Binny for Short (which received four starred reviews), and six novels about the Casson family: Saffy’s Angel, Indigo’s Star, Permanent Rose, Caddy Ever After, Forever Rose, and Caddy’s World. She is also the author of Wishing for Tomorrow, the sequel to Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess. Hilary lives with her family in Derbyshire, England. Visit her at HilaryMcKay.co.uk.
Reading Group Guide
About the Books
The Casson family four creative children, an absentminded mother, largely absent father, ragtag group of friends, ramshackle house, and large collection of guinea pigs is unlike any you've ever seen. Beginning with Saffy's Angel and continuing through Indigo's Star, Permanent Rose, Caddy Ever After and Forever Rose, Hilary McKay has chronicled the lives of this unique, mad, and utterly brilliant clan. Whether Indigo is dealing with bullies at school, Rose is stealing engagement rings, or Caddy is deciding whom she loves enough to marry, the Casson family is up to the challenge. Quirky, loving, and wise beyond their years, this British brood has advetures you won't want to miss.
About the Author
Hilary McKay is the award-winning author of many beloved novels, such as Saffy's Angel, which was the winner of the Whitbread Award, an ALA Notable Book, a Boston Globe - Horn Book Award Honor Book, and a School Library Journal Best Book of 2002, as well as several picture books, including Was That Christmas?, illustrated by Amanda Harvey. Hilary lives with her family in Derbyshire, England.
- Where do the Casson children get their names? Do these names fit them? What do their names, and how they got them, tell us about the family in general?
- What do you think about Bill's and Eve's styles of parenting? In what ways are their styles similar, and in what ways are they different? Are they good parents? Do you think the four children would have turned out differently if they'd been brought up by a more traditional couple?
- In Saffy's Angel, why is it so important to Saffy that she find the memento from her grandfather? Does it matter that, in the end, it's her siblings who end up finding it?
- Does Saffy's status in the family change when she discovers the identity of her father? Why or why not? What prompted Saffy to look for her real father?
- Despite the family being so close-knit, both Saffy and Rose talk about feeling lonely. What is the reason that each of them feels lonely? How do they each deal with their loneliness?
- The Casson children have several friends Sarah, Tom, and David who come to be like members of the family. How did each of these friendships begin? Is this the "normal" way to become friends with someone? Do these strange beginnings affect the quality of the friendships?
- Why does Indigo become a target for the gang of bullies in Indigo's Star? How does his place in the group change when he becomes friends with Tom? What does Indigo have to do to stop being a victim to the gang?
- Why do Rose and Tom get along so well? Does their relationship affect how Tom relates to the rest of the family? How does his affection for Rose help him when there is a crisis in his own family?
- Indigo has a number of fears, including heights, Caddy's driving, and losing his sisters. How does he deal with his fears? Is he the only Casson child who is afraid of things? What are the others afraid of, and how do they deal with their fears?
- In Permanent Rose, why does Rose start shoplifting? Does she view this as a bad thing to do? How does she feel about the fact that David is the only person who figures out what she's doing?
- Discuss Rose's relationship with Bill. Is it different from the other characters' relationships with him? In what ways is Bill a disappointment to Rose, and in what ways is he just what she needs?
- The format of Caddy Ever After is different from the other books. Why do you think the author chose to write the book this way? How does it change the way you experience the story?
- Caddy goes through a lot of boyfriends and has trouble committing to Michael. Why is it so hard for her to think about being married to him? Why does she agree to marry Alex? Why doesn't she tell Michael about Buttercup?
- Why doesn't Rose read? Do you agree with Saffy and Sarah that it's important for her to start reading? Are there any similarities between Rose's reading problem and Caddy's difficulty with passing her exams?
- How does Rose's trip to the zoo in Forever Rose change her and the circumstances in her life? Is she happy with these changes? Do you think she should have been punished?
- Why is it so important to David that he be accepted by the Casson family? What makes it so difficult for this to happen?
- How does the artistic nature of the Casson family affect each of the children? What would their lives be like without art and music? How do the people around them feel about the creativity of the household?
- Bill, Eve, and Rose are all talented painters who find great joy in this form of artistic expression. Gather some supplies and paint something that you love your family, your pet, your favorite spot and see if you enjoy it.
- One night, Sarah and Saffy map out a route from England (where they live) to America (where Tom lives). See if you can plan a route from London to New York...one that does not involve an airplane.
- After years of raising hamsters and guinea pigs, Caddy devotes her adult life to working with animals. Find some place in your community an animal shelter, a zoo, an aquarium, etc. where you can volunteer with animals.
- Tom teaches Indigo how to play the guitar, and then David takes up the drums. Have you ever wanted to learn how to play an instrument? Look into renting an instrument and taking lessons.
- Go to an art supply store and find a paint chart like the one that hangs in the Casson kitchen. Which colors do you think would make good names?
- The Casson family is very dramatic, and many interesting things go on in their home. Choose your favorite scene and act it out. Be as creative and dramatic as you can.
This reading group guide has been provided by Simon & Schuster for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I adore the "darling Casson family," and I'm not sure, but I think surly lovely artist Rose is my favorite. What I like so much about this family is that they are who they are, and no one in the family is ever trying to turn someone else into something they aren't. They are all so downright Casson-ish. I'd love to live next door to these folks. Well, maybe not the guinea pigs, but otherwise, they'd be wonderful neighbors.
This book I have read previously but listened to with my daughter on audio book. This is the third book in the series by Hillary McKay. I love the wacky Casson afmily with the flaky mom and the independent self reliant kids. I think this book has value in many ways. It is set in London and shows how the family survives. I like the underlying discussion of art that are in all the books, also what is love and what makes a family. These books are entertaining and appeal to many ages and both genders. The structure of the books with one named for each child. It delightful as we get to know about the family and the stronger voice of each child. My daughter who is 8 loved this book because of it's character Rose who is also 8. She also runs the family in her own way and this is very apparent in this book.
The summer that Indy's friend Tom leaves for New York to care for his baby sister in America, the family grows up and makes some mature decisions. Cassy vacillates between wanting to marry Michael and breaking off the engagement. Saffy and her friend Sarah turn to the Internet to find Saffy's biological father, and Rose's shoplifting habits intensify as she tries to fill the void of Tom's absence. This book has a fast moving plot that keeps the reader interest.
The setting in this story is in England, about this time of year. The main characters are Permanent Rose, Caddy, Michael, Indigo, Saffy, Eve, Bill, Samantha, Sarah, David, and Tom. I liked the strong attitude in Permanent Rose, somtimes i can relate to her. The Whole Casson Family (which is Eve, Bill, Caddy, Saffy, Indigo, and Permanent Rose) are busy for the summer.Eve is an artist, she is painting the hospital walls. Bill is in London, England with his new girlfriend Samantha. Saffy is a daughter of Lizzy,Eves twin who died when Saffy was born. Now Saffy and her best friend Sarah are looking for Saffy's biological father. Caddy is losing and losing the ring that Michael gave her. Rose takes the ring so Caddy wouldnt give it back to Michael, since Caddy is not so sure she wants to marry him. Permanent Rose shoplifts items in the store which almost brings disaster. David, indigos friend tries to stop Rose from shoplifting items in the store. He was the only one who knew. Caddy is all fed up, so she decides she wants to go to London, to stay for a while with Samantha. When shes on the train, David brings Rose and tells her to give the ring back to Caddy, before the train departs. When Rose is already inside looking for Caddy, the train departs.She looks for Caddy and finds her asleep. When the arrive London, Caddy sees Rose and asks her a bunch of questions. When they get to Bill and Samanthas apartment, Rose gives Caddy the ring and Caddy departs once back to Michael and leaves Rose with Samantha and Bill. There they discuss alot of stuff and find that Bill is Saffys biological father as well. Samantha tells Bill why he didnt tell her he had a very young daughter. Samantha brakes up with Bill. In the morning instead of going Bill and Samantha to New York, Bill and Rose go to New York with alot of discusion. They tell the family back at home and David and Sarah decide to find Toms new phone number to call him, so Rose wont be upset when she reaches London. They find it at school and call Tom in New York so he would be in the airport for Rose. She finds him there under the sign that said New York.
This is my favourite of the Casson Family series. Rose is determined to make sure that Caddie marries Michael so takes her engagement ring so that Caddie can't lose it or give it back. She is also worried that they haven't heard from Tom and Saffy is trying to find out who her father is.
Whichs the 1st book?
this book is alsome it is the and best book ever. i think this book is so good everyone shoule read it. iread it 8 times and i loved it so i think everyone should read it
In the 3rd story about the Casson family, you get to know the creative baby of the family, Permanent Rose. Yes, her name is Permanent Rose, but people call her Rose. She is free spirited and headstrong. She paints a huge wall, letting her artistic talent flow. I love the Casson family. Rose is awesome! I recommended "Sand Dollar Summer", because it has family conflicts and adventure, just like this series.
This book is so fantastic. You really must read it. You really feel what the characters are feeling, and it's just, well, really, really, good. Read it as soon as you get the chance!!