Rosie’s Dream Cape

Rosie's Dream Cape, by Zelda Freedman

Rosie’s Dream Cape

by Zelda Freedman


  • Spring 2005
  • ISBN 978-1-55380-025-5
  • ebook ISBN 978-1-55380-400-0
  • PDF ISBN 978-1-55380-401-7
  • 5-1/4″ x 7-5/8″ Trade Paperback, 116 pages
  • Children’s Novel

Based on a true story, this charming juvenile novel tells of how eleven-year-old Rosie and her grandmother Bubba Sarah arrive in Toronto from Russia after fleeing one of the purges that carried away Rosie’s mother, a famous Russian dancer. To help make ends meet, Rosie works in Yitzy’s factory sewing velvet capes for Eatons, all the while dreaming of making such a cape from scraps, and wearing it to Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre.

Although Yitzy warns Rosie, “don’t steal the scraps,” she cannot resist, and each evening when she dumps the scraps in the garbage, she hides the best ones in her apron. At home, she sews her cape. One of the girls sees Rosie stealing scraps, and threatens to tell. Frightened, Rosie returns the cape and confesses. Yitzy is furious. Since he needs his order of capes finished by Christmas, and Rosie is the best “finisher,” he makes her work late, work Sundays, and withholds her pay.

Then things get worse. The inspectors show up, and Rosie is faced with tremendous obstacles. However, by her own hard work, and a stroke of luck, Rosie’s dream comes true. And Yitzy delivers his capes on time to Eatons. This tale provides a wonderful insight into how an immigrant child survives with her values and dreams intact despite the harsh working conditions of a 1921 garment factory.

“A touching story of heartbreak and joy, delicately stitched together into a young girl’s dream.”
— Cathy Beveridge, author of Chaos in Halifax


Reviews & Awards

Shortlisted for the Diamond Willow and Golden Oak Awards

Selected for Our Choice

Rosie’s Dream Cape is a Canadian girl story, accurately and honestly told, informative and interesting. . . . Recommended.”
CM Magazine

Rosie’s Dream Cape is, quite simply, a love and a must for Zelda Freedman and for those of us lucky enough to read her book. Don’t miss it!”
Ottawa Jewish Bulletin

“Freedman’s clear depiction of her circumstances is sure to be fresh for today’s Canadian preteens.”
Vancouver Sun

Rosie’s Dream Cape is a lovely, heart-warming story”
Jewish Tribune

“Toronto’s social history comes to life in . . . Zelda Freedman’s Rosie’s Dream Cape