The Ballad of Melodie Rose
When Melodie Rose is abandoned on the doorstep of Direleafe Hall, she realises she must be a ghost. Strangely, she is not sad. With the three other ghostly girls who haunt the school and a gloomy crow on her shoulder, Melodie has never felt more at peace. Finally, she has a place to call home. So when the Lady in White arrives with plans to flatten the beloved school, Melodie Rose must act fast to…

The Ballad of Melodie Rose is an emotional story about a girl who becomes a ghost. The book explores the themes of abandonment and invisibility, and how the way you see yourself affects the way others see you.

The Ballad of Melodie Rose makes you stop and think about the power of being heard even when the whole world is against you. The language in the story flows like a river and carries you away, taking you to Melodie’s life and trials, and is sweeping in the level of emotion that you experience while reading this book.

Reviewed by Milly, Year 7 Box Hill High School

Melodie Rose is a girl who lived a happy life with her mother and father until her father died suddenly. She was then sent to live with her grandmother at Direleafe Hall by her grief-stricken mother. Direleafe Hall is a school for children, and Melodie Rose’s grandmother is in charge. Melodie Rose is so saddened by the loss of both her father and mother that she comes to believe she is a ghost. It is not long after her arrival that Melodie Rose begins to make friends with the ghosts that live in the school and comes to feel a sense of belonging. She then learns that her grandmother cannot pay the bills and the school is being sold. Melodie Rose begins to make plans to save the school with her new friends.

The Ballad of Melodie Rose is a tale of fantasy, heartbreak, and the enduring love of a child for her parents. I found the story easy to read because the story was similar to what happens at a real life school, but with a twist. The narrative allows you to imagine what the school is like and what Melodie Rose’s life was like before she lost her parents. The characters are believable because they act like people I know from school.

The whole story centres around the idea of belonging. The book made me think about how grateful I am to have a home, and how important this is to help you feel like you belong. I found the book to be entertaining, and I wanted to keep reading. I absolutely loved the plot twist at the end! I hope this book is part of a series.

I think that this book is one that older children (10+) would enjoy reading.

Reviewed by Gracelyn St Paul’s AGS