Booktalks

Rose Sees Red Booktalk

  • Grades: 6–8

In the early 1980s, there is great tension between Russia and America. The threat of nuclear war is high and the world is a scary place. But Rose has other concerns on her mind. After Rose chose to pursue ballet and attend a performing arts high school, her best friend Daisy turned against her. Once Rose made the decision to attend a different high school than Daisy, their friendship fell apart and Rose was left with no one. That is, until the day she met Yrena.

Yrena is Rose's Russian neighbor in the Bronx. Although Rose has never spoken to her, Rose knows quite a bit about her. Their bedroom windows face each other, and by the ballet posters on Yrena's wall, Rose can tell that Yrena is also a dancer.

Yrena is eager to make friends and wants to experience American life. However, because Yrena is from Russia, she is constantly followed by the CIA and the Soviet police and isn't allowed the same freedoms as American teenagers. Yrena craves one night in New York City and Rose is determined to give it to her.

After escaping the agents in the Bronx, Rose and Yrena have the most memorable night of their lives. They make new friends, travel around the city and forge a deep friendship that neither of them will ever forget.

Join Rose and Yrena on their New York adventure in Cecil Castellucci's Rose Sees Red!

  • Subjects:
    Nuclear War, Friends and Friendship
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