The ballad of Melodie Rose by Kate Gordon
The Ballad of Melodie Rose is a book about love. It is heartwarming throughout. The author, Kate Gordon, keeps the reader close to the central character, Melodie Rose. The reader is invited into close communion with Melodie's evolving thoughts and feelings. The Ballad of Melodie Rose is the companion tale to the award winning The Heartsong of Wonder Quinn containing some continuing characters and the same setting of Direleaf Hall but introducing Melodie Rose in the place of Wonder Quinn.
Direleaf Hall is a rather special boarding school which draws girls who need it because they have losses and sadnesses in their lives. Beloved as it is, it has fallen into disrepair and is being bought by 'the Lady in White' who is intent on its destruction. It is more than a home to Melodie Rose who has suffered terrible trauma and believes herself to be a ghost. It is more than a home to all of the girls and the owner Ms Gallow who is Melodie's grandma. Melodie, along with three other ghostly girls and a dejected raven of indeterminate age set out with elaborate plans to save the school. In the process, the reader sees Melodie's initiative, her courage and her gradual return to being seen.
The Ballad of Melodie Rose is a tale about fitting in and being yourself and what more challenging place to learn this than in a girls' boarding school especially after you have been suddenly effectively orphaned! It's a gentle, whimsical story about friendship, what it is to be loved, what it is to be seen, a way of looking at death, our place in time and across the ages. This story is literally wrapped in stardust.
Highly recommended for girls 10+. Recommended for students who may be experiencing grief and loss.
Themes: Belonging, Being seen, Boarding school for girls, Ghosts, Trauma, PTSD.