Rosa Sola by Carmela Martino
Rosa Bernardi, an only child living with her Italian immigrant parents in 1960s Chicago, often feels alone, or SOLA, as her parents would say. But after she holds her best friend AnnaMaria’s baby brother for the first time, Rosa is sure that if she prays hard enough, God will send her a brother of her own. When Rosa’s prayers for a sibling are answered, she is overjoyed—until tragedy strikes. Rosa is left feeling more SOLA than ever, and wondering if her broken family will ever be whole again.
Rosa Sola is a beautiful story about an Italian immigrant family in the 1960’s. Rosa is in the fourth grade and wants nothing more than a baby brother. She decides to pray for a brother until God blesses her family. Amazingly, her prayers are answered! All seems perfect when she finds out her mother is expecting a baby, she will no longer be the odd girl at school with no siblings. But when tragedy strikes her family, she has many hard lessons to learn.
This novel, for older elementary and middle school students, is a lovely story told from a young girl’s perspective about the difficulties of life, understanding other people’s problems, and the importance of faith. My heart ached for this young girl who was forced to grow up quickly and face many tough lessons by herself when her parents were unable to be there for her. But during this difficult time, young Rosa learned much about her family, her faith, as well as her own strength and determination.