The Red Rose Box by Brenda Woods

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On her tenth birthday, Leah receives a surprise gift from glamorous Aunt Olivia, Mama's only sister, who lives in Los Angeles.  It is a red rose box.  Not many people in 1958 Louisiana have seen such a beautiful traveling case, covered with red roses, filled with jewelry, silk bedclothes, expensive soaps...and train tickets to California.  Soon after, Leah and her sister, Ruth, find themselves in Hollywood, far away from cotton fields and Jim Crow laws.  To Leah, California feels like freedom.  But when disaster strikes back home, Leah and Ruth have to stay with Aunt Olivia permanently.  Will freedom ever feel like home?


About Brenda Woods

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Brenda Woods ( is the author of Coretta Scott King Honor winner The Red Rose Box. She lives in the Los Angeles area.
Published December 29, 2003 by Puffin. 144 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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While accompanying their aunt on a trip to New York, Leah and her younger sister Rose hear the terrible news that a deadly hurricane has struck Sulphur, killing both their parents, as well as many friends and neighbors.

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Publishers Weekly

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Woods's moving first novel opens in sleepy Sulphur, La., in June 1953, when Leah receives a 10th birthday present from her estranged aunt in Los Angeles: a traveling case covered with red roses

May 20 2002 | Read Full Review of The Red Rose Box

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