From the winner of the Costa Children's Book Award 2018.
It's the Casson Family finale, and Permanent Rose takes centre stage.
It's tough being the youngest - Rose is lonely. Her family are always busy doing their own things so Rose comes home to a dark, quiet, empty house every day. Saffy is off with Sarah, Indigo has his paper round and guitar lessons, Eve's in quarantine in the shed, Bill's not much use in London, and who knows where Caddy is since she disappeared with Michael's postcards! The only one around is David and Rose would rather be alone than be with him!
At least Rose still has her friends at school: the brilliant Kiran and the nice but boring Molly. But school is no longer a peaceful place where Rose can daydream. Mean Mr Spencer is always shouting about SATs. And now he's cancelled Christmas! But one thing Mr Spencer cant cancel is the Christmas School Trip which means Rose can help Molly with her ONE BIG IDEA ... but what could that be? Will it be a very merry Christmas for Class 6 and the Casson family?
The fifth and, sadly, final volume about the Casson family, Brits like the author, is the best of them all, a jewel of a domestic comedy. Rose, the youngest, is now 11 and occupies an as yet uncharted zone between daft and brilliant. Writing in a diary (she cheerfully ignores the printed dates and supplies her own), she copes with her separated but still doting parents, her talented siblings and the assorted people they collect (where is Caddy, the oldest sister, when she periodically phones Rose? And what is to be done with David, her brother's lummox of a friend who has been kicked out by his mother and has no place to put his drum set?). Then there's Rose's friend Molly, with her nutty plan to hide out overnight at the zoo in the arctic foxes' shelter, a scheme Rose will go along with only because she's certain it will fail. McKay is an expert at twinning the point of view: she lets readers see Rose's logic, but her timing calls forth every bit of the situational humor. The ending ties all the ends together some may say too neatly, but fans will find the wrapup utterly satisfying. Ages 10 14.