|Ruby on the outside|
Author: Baskin, Nora Raleigh
Eleven-year-old Ruby Danes has a real best friend for the first time ever, but agonizes over whether or not to tell her a secret she has never shared with anyone--that her mother has been in prison since Ruby was five--and over whether to express her anger to her mother.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 5.0 Quiz: 174506
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 66356
Kirkus Reviews (03/15/15)
School Library Journal (04/01/15)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (07/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 04/01/2015 Gr 4–6—The touching, emotionally complex story of Ruby Danes, an 11-year-old with a big secret. For the past six years, Ruby has lived with her aunt because her mother has been in prison. Thus far, Ruby has kept her secret close, thereby developing an overwhelming self-consciousness to avoid sharing her true self. But now she finds herself forming a new friendship with her neighbor Margalit, and Ruby struggles to negotiate the powerful feelings of friendship with the bewildering guilt of having an incarcerated parent. Baskin elegantly guides readers through Ruby's painful but cleansing reconstruction of the mysteries of her past while she comes to terms with her current situation. Ruby's story will speak to any young person struggling with the consequences of their parents' choices and the psychological ache of safeguarding their true selves. The author takes great pains to assure readers of Ruby's mother's moral—and likely legal—innocence, which may alienate some readers familiar with the criminal justice system. Still, readers will benefit from Ruby's emotional evolution as she learns the cathartic power of creativity, honesty, and friendship. VERDICTSensitively handled and emotionally impactful, this novel is especially a must-have for libraries that serve children of incarcerated parents.—Anna Murphy, Berkeley Carroll, Brooklyn - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 05/15/2015 Ruby Danes is tired of being on the outside. She has never had a close friend, and with middle school starting in a few months, she doesn’t know how to handle things. But now there is Margalit, who seems to accept her without question and who is like her other half. But what would Margalit think if she knew Ruby’s secret about her mother, who is inside the prison walls? And what if Ruby’s mother is responsible for Margalit's brother’s death? No friendship can survive that, can it? Beautifully written from 11-year-old Ruby’s perspective, this lyrical novel explores multiple aspects of the effects of incarceration on family—guilt, fear, anger, loneliness, and heavy responsibility. Baskin’s plot structure, which flows from the present to periodic flashbacks, keeps the story from being unbearably dark. Margalit may be too good to be true, but she is just what the doctor ordered for Ruby’s healing. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 07/01/2015 Ruby was five years old when her mother went to prison, and the gaps in her memory of that turbulent time have been something of a blessing. She has been raised and loved by Mom’s older sister, Barbara, whom Ruby has nicknamed Matoo (Mom, too), and the condo complex in which they live is close enough for Ruby to visit her mother on a regular basis. Now Ruby is a rising middle-schooler with a chance to make her first real friend, Margalit, who shares her enthusiasm for everything from swimming pool cannonballs, to mac and cheese, to jointly making illustrated stories. The possibility of friendship ignites changes in Ruby’s perspective on her mother and her crime, and Ruby now wants more information—about Mom’s involvement in the shooting that led to her arrest; about Nick, Mom’s ex-husband, who pulled the trigger but managed to plea bargain a lighter sentence. Most of all, Ruby wants an answer to the question she’s most afraid to ask—was the store clerk who lost his life in the shooting Margalit’s older brother? Ruby is entering adolescence, and with that maturity comes an inevitable shake-up in the mother-daughter relationship. She has plenty of anger to direct at Mom for ruining her opportunity for a normal life, and readers will empathize with her reticence to gamble on a new friend’s understanding and compassion. The plot thread regarding the victim’s identity ramps up the angst, offering middle-graders a tantalizing taste of the melodrama that awaits them around the corner in YA fiction. EB - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.