Author(s): Mel Darbon
Rosie loves Jack. Jack loves Rosie. So when they're split up, Rosie will do anything to find the boy who makes the sun shine in her head. Even run away from home. Even cross London and travel to Brighton alone, though the trains are cancelled and the snow is falling. Even though any girl might find that hard, let alone a girl with Down's syndrome.
Rosie has Down’s syndrome; Jack has anger issues. They love each other dearly, but Jack’s latest outburst has sent him away to a reform farm in Brighton. Rosie’s parents tell her she must forget Jack and that he is a bad influence, but as Rosie tells her mum: “I’ll never forget Jack. Jack took away my lonely.”
She discovers Jack’s postcards that her father has kept from her and sets off to find him. Rosie’s journey in bitterly cold, snowy weather takes her to London, where she has many hair-raising incidents, including coping with cancelled trains, having her money stolen and being picked up by an eastern European pimp, before she finally collapses, literally, in Jack’s arms.
Darbon writes from the heart — her own brother has autism spectrum disorder — and she gets the frustration that people with limited abilities endure when trying to get by in the world. She has created the most wonderful character in Rosie, whose courage and unwavering faith in her Jack will bring most readers to tears.
With themes of tolerance, independence and the freedom to love, Rosie Loves Jack is a beautifully written debut novel that will resonate with you long after reading it. Highly recommended for age 13+