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  • A Rose for Melinda
  • Written by Lurlene McDaniel
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780307544599
  • Our Price: $5.99
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A Rose for Melinda

Written by Lurlene McDanielAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Lurlene McDaniel


List Price: $5.99


On Sale: June 10, 2009
Pages: 208 | ISBN: 978-0-307-54459-9
Published by : Laurel Leaf RH Childrens Books
A Rose for Melinda Cover

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Told in letters, journal entries, e-mails, doctors’ reports, and instant messages, the heartbreaking story of an aspiring ballet dancer battling leukemia.

From: Melinda Skye
To: Readers
Subject: Jesse

Hi! I can’t believe it. What a surprise from Jesse. When he got my e-mail about being accepted by the Washington School of Classical Dance’s summer program, he called to congratulate me! I loved hearing his voice. We’ve been friends forever–could it turn into something more?

From: Jesse Rose
To: Readers
Subject: Melinda

I couldn’t believe the news. Melinda is so young! How could she be sick? How did she get leukemia? She’s got to get better. She’s got to.

From the Paperback edition.



September 7

Dear Melinda Skye,

Thank you for sharing your snack.

You are very pretty.


your friend,

Jesse Rose

September 7

Dear Jesse Rose,

Thank you. I have new shoes. Do you like them?

Your friend,

Melinda Skye

October 1

Dear Melinda,

I don't like school. But I like you. Do you like me?

Your friend,


October 1

Dear Jesse,

I like you. But I like school. Reading is the best part.

Your friend,


October 2

Dear Melinda,

The best part of school is seeing you.

Your very good friend,


P.S. I like baseball. I want to play for the Braves. They are my favorite team.

October 3

Dear Jesse,

I like ballet. I take classes and want to be a real ballerina. I will be famous.

Your friend,


October 21

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Rose,

I'm afraid that Jesse must be placed on an "in-room" suspension from recess for the next three days for fighting on the playground. Although he has assured me that he "only socked Toby Gillman in the nose because he shoved Melinda Skye off the swing," as his teacher, I can't allow physical attacks on fellow students to occur. Please understand that I think Jesse is a good child. He has never disrupted the class until this unfortunate incident. As you are aware, this school system has a zero-tolerance policy regarding physical violence, and therefore Jesse must be punished for his aggressive act toward another student. Please call our principal if you have any questions regarding Jesse's suspension. Be assured that Toby is receiving the same punishment for shoving Melinda.


Nancy Barber

October 22

Mrs. Barber,

Jesse has told his father and me that he will not hit Toby again "UNLESS Toby hurts Melinda." We've always tried to instill a sense of right and wrong in our son, and he knows that hitting others is wrong. For some reason, Jesse has formed an attachment to Melinda and feels a need to defend her--like some kind of mini-Lancelot. We understand and accept his punishment and are confident that he will behave in the future if Toby behaves.


Ann Rose

Dear Jesse,

Thank you for punching Toby for me. I am sorry you have to miss recess, but I will sit with you at lunch all next week because you are my hero.

Friends forever,


December 4

Dear Melinda,

I made this picture for you. It's me playing baseball and you watching. Do you like it?


December 5

Dear Jesse,

I like the picture a lot!!!!! I put it in my room.


An Invitation

To: Jesse Rose

From: Melinda Skye

Date: December 16, Friday

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Place: Memorial Auditorium

Jesse--Melinda wants you to come watch her dance in the "Nutcracker Suite" next weekend. She is one of the cherubs in the dance company and will be in the front row. Perhaps your parents will bring you, and after the performance, you can all come backstage and say hello.

Elana Skye (Melinda's mom)

[Transcript from the VCR of Leonard and Elana Skye. Scene of backstage bedlam as girls dressed in tutus and leotards scurry around shrieking and giggling.]

OFF-CAMERA VOICE OF LEONARD SKYE: Slow down, Princess. There's somebody here to see you.

[Camera swings around to show Jesse and his parents. Jesse walks over to Melinda, hands her a pink rose wrapped in tissue.]

JESSE: I liked . . . I mean, you danced real good. I stayed awake the whole time!

MELINDA [giggles]: A rose? For me? [Glances up at camera] Look, Daddy, Jesse brought me a rose. A rose from a Rose. [Giggles again]

ELANA [Steps into camera shot, bends down]: This is just beautiful. How thoughtful, Jesse. [Looks up] Thank you for bringing him.

[Camera swings and shot widens to include Jesse's smiling parents.]

ANN ROSE: He saw that on television . . . you know, the part about giving an actress, or dancer in this case, a bouquet of roses after the final curtain. He insisted he bring roses for Melinda.

JOHN ROSE: I took him to the florist and he bought it with his own money.

VOICE OF JESSE: That's why there's just one. They cost a whole lot!

[Camera swings around and zooms in on Jesse's face as all adults laugh off-camera.]

ELANA: What do you say to Jesse, honey?

MELINDA: Thank you a whole bunch. [Throws arms around Jesse and kisses him wetly on the cheek. Adults laugh. Jesse's eyes widen. Camera pulls back and kids wave at lens.]

[Fade to Black]


To: All Parents

From: Nancy Barber

Date: May 20

To commemorate the end of the school year, we will hold a small "graduation" ceremony on Friday, the last day of classes. All family members are invited to this ceremony, which will be held at 3 p.m. in the cafeteria. Please plan to attend if at all possible. I am proud of each student and want everyone to have a sense of a job well done!

Report cards will go out within two weeks of the end of classes. Have a wonderful summer!

May 23

Dear Melinda,

I will miss you very much all summer. I will write to you, OK? My mom said it is all right with her if your mom says I can. Will you miss me too?


P.S. Can I be your boyfriend? Like a REAL boyfriend, not just a boy who is a friend?

May 23

Dear Jesse,

Yes, I will miss you. Yes, let's write. I am going to dance camp in July. I am going to visit my Grandma in Florida in August. I love her bunches and bunches. See you next year!


P.S. My mom says I have to wait longer before I can have a real boyfriend. But thank you for asking.

P.P.S. If I could have a boyfriend, I would pick you!

From the Paperback edition.
Lurlene McDaniel

About Lurlene McDaniel

Lurlene McDaniel - A Rose for Melinda

Photo © Meghan Green and Jon Lancaster

“I write the kind of books I write because I want to help kids understand that nobody gets to pick what life dishes out to them. What you do get to choose is how you respond to what life gives you. No matter what happens, life is a gift. And always worth living.”—Lurlene McDaniel

Lurlene McDaniel is a recipient of the RITA Award and several of her works have received the IRA–CBC Children’s Choice Award.


Everyone loves a good cry, and no one delivers heartwrenching stories better than Lurlene McDaniel.

But there’s more to her books than that. McDaniel has written over 40 novels about kids who face life-threatening illnesses, who sometimes do not survive. These are powerful, inspirational stories about courage, love, and strength in the face of overwhelming trauma. McDaniel’s books touch the hearts and spirits of the teenagers and adults who read them. Her following is a devoted group of appreciative fans. McDaniel says: “These are books that challenge you and make you think.”

Some readers—and their parents—have wondered why McDaniel chooses to write about sad situations. “I tell them that sometimes tragedy hits people—kids, too. They want answers. They want to know ‘why.’ By using novels, I show ordinary kids confronting and overcoming great odds.” McDaniel’s books are ultimately optimistic and life-affirming. 

McDaniel began writing about young adults when her son Sean was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of 3. His illness changed the lives of everyone in her family forever. “I saw what life was like for someone who was chronically ill, and I experienced how it affected the dynamics of the family,” says McDaniel. She says she found that writing about the trauma and its effects was therapeutic.

To make certain that her books are medically accurate, McDaniel conducts extensive research. She interviews health care professionals and works with appropriate medical groups and hospice organizations, as well as the Tennessee Organ Donor Services. “I study medicine and traditional grief therapy techniques to give the novels a sense of serious medical reality,” she says. “I also study the Bible to instill the human element—the values and ethics often overlooked by the coldness of technology.”

Growing up, McDaniel lived in different parts of the country because her father was in the Navy. Eventually her family settled in Florida. She attended the University of South Florida in Tampa, where she earned a B.A. in English. She now lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

In addition to her popular YA novels, McDaniel has written radio and television scripts, promotional and advertising copy, and a magazine column. She is a frequent speaker at schools, writers’ conferences, and conventions.

McDaniel’s books have been named to several bestseller lists, including Publishers Weekly. Three of her novels were
selected by children as IRA–CBC Children’s Choices: Somewhere Between Life and Death, Too Young to Die, and Goodbye Doesn’t Mean Forever. Six Months to Live has been placed in a literary time capsule at the Library of Congress, to be opened in the year 2089.

The One Last Wish books focus on the interconnected stories of the residents and counselors of Jenny House—a group home for critically and terminally ill young girls. Through the kindness of a secret benefactor, each girl receives a cashier’s check for $100,000, to be used to make her last wish come true. Every One Last Wish novel is a compassionate story of triumph and inspiration that makes McDaniel’s dedicated fans come back for more.

McDaniel’s works include To Live Again, one of the Dawn Rochelle books; Angel of Mercy, the companion to Angel of Hope; and How Do I Love Thee, three stories about young couples who are inspired by Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s beautiful sonnet. In her novel, Telling Christina Goodbye, McDaniel shows that everything can change in the blink of an eye.


“An interesting blend of romance, mystery, and problem novel. The characters are captivating and sensitively drawn and the plot is fast paced.”—School Library Journal

“Touching scenes abound in this crisis novel. . . . Fans of tear-jerker teen romances will enjoy this offering.”—Booklist

“A satisfying story for those who like to take their romance with tears and gutsy characters who know what it means to live beyond the pale of ‘normal.’ ”—School Library Journal

“Readers of McDaniel will enjoy; it’s good to read positive stories about teens.”—VOYA

“McDaniel has a way of getting you to look at the complicated emotions experienced by YAs with major medical problems. . . . Another winner in her One Last Wish series.”—KLIATT

“[The stories] are absorbing, the characters are well developed, and the author does not resolve the girls’ dilemmas with pat solutions. . . . This has solid YA appeal.”—School Library Journal

“These companion novels . . . cast the events of high school into a meaningful perspective and allow for convincing character development. McDaniel’s writing is light and well suited to this refreshing and involving story.”—Publishers Weekly

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