Caddy's World by Hilary McKay. I needed this book. I needed Caddy to have a book that was almost free of Rose's very definite, and pervasive personality. Caddy's World is the last, or hopefully just the latest, of McKay's books about the chaotic but always lovable Casson family. The series started with Saffy's Angel all about Saffron, the second oldest Casson child. Then, Indigo, child three, got a book of his own, Indigo's Star. Rose gets her own book in Permanent Rose. And although, the fourth book in the series, Caddy Ever After is supposedly about Caddy, it has so much of the other Cassons in it that this fifth book is really Caddy's very own.
Rose is not even in the first half of Caddy's World. Caddy is only twelve and the Casson family consists of Dad, Darling Bill the London artist, Mum, disorganized painterly Eve, Caddy, Saffy and Indigo. Saffy's very best friend, Sarah, hasn't even appeared. She's there at the end of the street and we do meet Sarah's Mum at the end of the book.
This book is about Caddy and her three best friends, Alison - who hates everyone, Ruby - very bright, and Beth who is perfect. Each girl has a specific problem that each girl attacks in a perfectly reasonable way- by 12-year-old girl standards. With so many different characters, because, of course, the Cassons have to have a major crisis, it's amazing how clearly drawn each character is. There don't seem to be any bad guys in a Casson family story just impossible situations and busy, busy lives.
Caddy wants things to stay the same. (Me, too, Caddy.) So do her friends, especially Beth and Ruby. But in the end, it is Caddy who helps her friends navigate their futures - in the hair-brained, intuitive leaps that Casson family fans have come to know and love. I want these people to move next door. All of them, even Dingbat.
I strongly suggest that you read the Casson family books in the order in which they are written. Some prequels need to be read last, or later, in the series. This is the book that makes sense of the others - not that those books aren't perfectly lovable on their own.
I adore Hilary McKay. If McKay wants you to love a character, you do. And even her most flawed characters are treated humanely. Look what she did with Miss Minchin in Wishing for Tomorrow, the sequel to Frances Hodge Burnett's Little Princess.
In case, you thought I forgot that this is Kids Book Website Tuesday, I'd like to introduce Rose Casson's blog. Oh, yeah. Rose has a blog! Actually, she stopped blogging and is tweeting instead but read her blog posts if you want to find out how Rose is. She's indomitable! From there, you can visit Hilary McKay's page and check out the other books that she has written.
BTW, Sarah needs her own book, whether she is an actual Casson or not.