Ruby Holler

SharonCreech_RubyHoller

CARNEGIE MEDAL WINNER – 2002

Ruby Holler

by Sharon Creech

Age: 8+

Interests: orphans, twins, siblings, family, country living, adoption

Harper Trophy: 2002

310 pages, 66 chapters

Also by this author: Walk Two Moons, The Wanderer, Absolutely Normal Chaos, Bloomability, Love That Dog, Heartbeat

Next: The Ghost of Thomas KempeFlora & Ulysses, Holes (similar story style, but much darker content)

Dallas and Florida are known at the horrible Boxton Creek Home for Children as the Trouble Twins, and after a series of placements in awful homes with awful people, the twins are resigned to their fate at the orphanage. When retired Sairy and Tiller Morey take them home to the gorgeous Ruby Holler, however, the hardened kids soon soften up altogether. There is a plot by the orphanage managers – Mr. and Mrs. Trepid – to steal the Moreys’ money, but it doesn’t get to far. The ending is predictably a happy one, but events along the way are quirky and humourous.

The treatment the orphans received in their previous homes is truly awful, but it’s handled in bits and pieces as stories they tell their new guardians, and so isn’t too traumatic for the reader. Mr. and Mrs. Trepid are stereotypical villains, and it is a little odd that they get so much story time in the latter half of the book. These sequences seem to be for the purpose of humanizing them, but it doesn’t actually get very far in this regard and at the end they disappear rather suddenly. We don’t even get to see their reaction when they realize their plans have been foiled. The redemption of the ominous figure of Z is a pleasant surprise, but it robs the climax of all the suspense and drama it might have had.

The relationship between Sairy and Tiller, and Dallas and Florida are entertaining, especially as the elders’ patience is sorely tested by the twins, who have a clumsy knack for messing things up. The saintly forebearance of the Moreys is very nearly unbelievable, but it is what wins over the kids in the end – as if anybody thought they wouldn’t choose to stay in Ruby Holler!

A good book for kids who want a slightly more mature story, but still shy away from really unpleasant or sad plots. It’s quirky and funny, if a little predictable.

(this title available at amazon.com)

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All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.