The Rose Beyond the Wall

Author: Holl, Kristi

Subjects: Family Relationships; Growing Up/Girls; Death of Family Member

Age: 10, 11, 12, 13

Grade: 5, 6, 7, 8

Order code: 425X

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Class sets: 10 or more: $7.00 each.
Order code: 425XS

The Rose Beyond the Wall Cover

Rachel and her grandmother have always had a special, close relationship. Grandmother’s living nearby makes visiting easy. Together, Grandmother and Rachel sew, bake, and share confidences. But one day when Rachel stops for a visit, she finds Grandmother sick. Although Grandmother protests that it is only the flu, the family insists that she go to the doctor. The diagnosis is terminal cancer.

Rachel throws herself into a state of denial, even when Grandmother moves in with the family and the course of the illness becomes apparent. Rachel’s relationships with her friends suffer because she wants to spend as much time as possible with her grandmother. She has not stopped caring for her friends, especially her long-standing boyfriend, but she has no time for them. She is absorbed in watching and interpreting nuances in Grandmother’s condition to catch one that will prove that the doctors are wrong. She is overly critical of her brothers’ and father’s reactions to the stress of Grandmother living with them.

It is Grandmother’s caring, understanding, and communicating with Rachel that finally helps Rachel to accept death as part of life and to deal with her passing. The verses of a poem that Grandmother has read with Rachel about a rose are symbolic of life. After Grandmother passes, Rachel discovers its last two verses and understands Grandmother’s wish for her. Although the storyline is sad because a loved one is gone, it ends with Rachel's happy resumption of her teenage life—and with a greater understanding of life itself.

The poem “The Rose Beyond the Wall” by A.L. Frink is quoted in full at the conclusion of the novel.

Kristi Holl is also the author of For Every Joy that Passes, published by Royal Fireworks Press.

Rachel and her grandmother have always had a special, close relationship. Grandmother’s living nearby makes visiting easy. Together, Grandmother and Rachel sew, bake, and share confidences. But one day when Rachel stops for a visit, she finds Grandmother sick. Although Grandmother protests that it is only the flu, the family insists that she go to the doctor. The diagnosis is terminal cancer.

Rachel throws herself into a state of denial, even when Grandmother moves in with the family and the course of the illness becomes apparent. Rachel’s relationships with her friends suffer because she wants to spend as much time as possible with her grandmother. She has not stopped caring for her friends, especially her long-standing boyfriend, but she has no time for them. She is absorbed in watching and interpreting nuances in Grandmother’s condition to catch one that will prove that the doctors are wrong. She is overly critical of her brothers’ and father’s reactions to the stress of Grandmother living with them.

It is Grandmother’s caring, understanding, and communicating with Rachel that finally helps Rachel to accept death as part of life and to deal with her passing. The verses of a poem that Grandmother has read with Rachel about a rose are symbolic of life. After Grandmother passes, Rachel discovers its last two verses and understands Grandmother’s wish for her. Although the storyline is sad because a loved one is gone, it ends with Rachel's happy resumption of her teenage life—and with a greater understanding of life itself.

The poem “The Rose Beyond the Wall” by A.L. Frink is quoted in full at the conclusion of the novel.

Kristi Holl is also the author of For Every Joy that Passes, published by Royal Fireworks Press.

The Rose Beyond the Wall Cover

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