Friday, February 22, 2013

Love, Ruby Lavender by Deborah Wiles: Book Review

Author: Deborah Wiles
Publisher: Harcourt, Inc., 2001
Reviewer: Sharon M. Himsl
Ages: 8 to 12, Middle Grade
Pages: 188

This is the second book I have read by middle grade author Deborah Wiles. My first was Each Little Bird That Sings (2005). Both are refreshing, funny and heartwarming. Wiles is a master at ‘showing/not telling’ and weaves a tale with characters that stay with you long after you finish. Travel to Halleluia, Mississippi and meet nine-year-old Ruby Lavender and her chickens—Ivy, Bemmie and Bess. Meet Ruby’s grandmother, Miss Eula, who drives the get-away car when they rescue the chickens from going to the slaughterhouse. Life is good in Halleluia, or at least manageable with Miss Eula around, but when Miss Eula takes off for Hawaii to see her new grandbaby, Ruby is devastated. How will she ever take care of the chickens on her own? One is about to give birth! And how will she ever deal with mean-spirited, “tip-tapping” Melba Jane? Ruby and Melba Jane share a past that neither can talk about: the tragic loss of two people they loved very much, a grandfather and a father—two lives that were lost together on one rainy night a year ago. The resolution comes in the most unconventional way. Be prepared to shed a tear and laugh at the same time. Love, Ruby Lavender was written over ten years ago, but that is the beauty of children's books. They can take on a second life and then some.  This is one of them. 
Copyright 2013 © Sharon M. Himsl


  1. She has such a voice ... a lot like Robert Newton Peck.

  2. So sweet, so sweet.

    I've only had one child, now 17, but I remember some books stuck out FAR AND ABOVE others.

    Great review :)


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You could call me an eternal optimist, but I'm really just a dreamer. l believe in dream fulfillment, because 'sometimes' dreams come true. This is a blog about my journey as a writer and things that inspire and motivate me.