DEBORAH WILES is the award-winning author of Each Little Bird That Sings, a National Book Award finalist; Love, Ruby Lavender, an ALA Notable Children's Book, a Children's Book Sense 76 Pick, an NCTE Notable Book for the Language Arts, and a New York Public Library Book for Reading and Sharing; Freedom Summer, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book; The Aurora County All-Stars, a New York Public Library Book for Reading and Sharing; and One Wide Sky. She lives in Georgia.www.deborahwiles.com
Gr 3-6 Talented Tony award-winner Judith Ivey is the narrator of this inventive title. An exceptional story in its own right, author Deborah Wiles (Harcourt, 2001) has created an irresistible character in Ruby Lavender, the most precocious resident of Hallelulia, Mississippi. Ruby is the only grandchild of Miss Eula Dapplevine, and the two are definitely "kindred spirits." Partners in crime - they steal ready-to-be-slaughtered chickens - the two share their thoughts and feelings by leaving daily missives in the knothole of a silver maple. Ruby, adventurous and opinionated, is devastated when her grandmother announces her plans to visit a new grandchild ("I hope they name her Hortense," Ruby offers) in Hawaii. Miss Eula and Ruby continue their correspondence throughout the summer, as Ruby offers "free advice," like "Always jiggle babies after they eat." Miss Eula consoles Ruby as she faces challenges and tries her best to combat the jealousy she feels toward her new cousin. Ruby's arch rival, Melba Jane, irritates Ruby, tells secrets. and generally upstages her until the day she really needs help, and Ruby comes to her rescue. Proving her theory that "life does go on," Miss Eula returns to Hallelulia to find that Ruby has, to her own surprise, made new friends and matured a bit in her absence. A rewarding read that perfectly blends the culture and the humor of the south, this not-to-be-missed title will be welcome in all collections that circulate audiobooks for children. -Kirsten Martindale, Buford Academy, GA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.