Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Little Crooked Bookshelf

by Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo

(This week's pick is from cottager Melanie Roy who is always struggling to be brave.)

What it's all about...
Ruby and her mom just moved to Vermont. Ruby is hoping it is temporary so they can soon go back to Washington D.C and resume the life they used to have. In the meantime, she will fade into the background and not bring any attention to herself. She certainly won't talk about her father. And she definitely won't talk about her mom getting arrested and awaiting trial. But classmate Ahmad is patiently trying each day to be her friend. And Ruby finds herself wanting to visit with "the Bird Lady" at the bottom of her hill more and more.  Eventually Ruby must make a choice: stay quiet or stand up for the people she has grown to care for.

Why I love it...
Ruby is a reminder of the quiet students we have in front of us who have so much more to offer and say than they are showing us. I liked the portrayal of her teacher Mr. Andrews who was patient and persistent with Ruby, not giving up on her and quietly showing her that he had high expectations for her. 

Why will kids love it?
There is a scene in the book where the teacher Mr. Andrews uses scissors to pull apart a baseball and show his students all the layers. He tells them to remember this as they study the person they will portray for the Wax Museum and peel away the layers until they find their person's cork-ball center. I think kids will enjoy getting to know each character in this book because there is so much more to each of them than the misconceptions and rumors about them in this small town.

Why will grown-ups love it?
Grown-ups will love it for the same reason as kids. This book is satisfying because as the story unfolds readers get a chance to learn more about the characters' back stories and realize they are all more resilient than anyone is giving them credit for.

Where to find/buy...

Indie Booksellers
Barnes & Noble

Or at a school or library near you!

About the Author
Ruby in the Sky is Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo's debut novel. It won the SCBWI Work-in-progress Award in the Middle Grade Category (2016).  Her next book is set to publish in 2020. You can find her on Twitter @JZulFerr.

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