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Cover image for Love, Ruby Lavender
Love, Ruby Lavender
Publication Information:
New York : Random House/Listening Library, ℗2004.
Physical Description:
4 audio discs (approximately 72 min. each) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:

Compact disc.
When her quirky grandmother goes to Hawaii for the summer, nine-year-old Ruby learns to survive on her own in Mississippi by writing letters, befriending chickens as well as the new girl in town, and finally coping with her grandfather's death.
Added Author:


Call Number
J CD Wiles, D.

On Order



When Ruby's grandmother, Miss Eula goes to visit her new grandbaby in Hawaii, Ruby is sure that she will have a lonely, empty, horrible summer without her in boring old Halleluia, Mississippi. What happens instead? She makes a new friend, saves the school play, writes plenty of letters to her favorite (and only) grandmother . . . and finally learns to stop blaming herself for her grandfather's death. Not too bad, for a nine-year-old.

"A lively, humorous story. . . . Colorful and spirited."- School Library Journal , starred review

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-7-A lively, humorous story featuring Miss Eula Garnet and her granddaughter Ruby as they share adventures and day-to-day miseries. The feisty duo shakes up their Mississippi town, Halleluia, "Population: 400 Good Friendly Folks And A Few Old Soreheads," when they liberate three soon-to-be-euthanized chickens from an egg ranch in a daring, daylight raid. They share an abiding sadness over the death of Grandpa Garnet, whose passing seems to be clouded by some terrible secret. When Miss Eula announces an unexpected trip to Hawaii to visit her son and to put some distance between herself and sorrow, the girl is shattered. Ruby fills her days by writing daily letters to her grandmother, monitoring the chickens, befriending the niece of the new fourth-grade teacher, and trying to avoid her nemesis whose father died in the same accident as Grandpa Garnet. Tensions between Ruby and Melba escalate as rehearsals for the annual Town Operetta commence. Resulting fireworks clear the air, reveal secrets, and resolve hard feelings just in time for Miss Eula's return. The engaging narrative, interspersed with amusing letters exchanged between Eula and Ruby and articles from the local newspaper, is witty and fast paced and the quirky, diverse cast of human and poultry characters is colorful and spirited, if not totally realistic. This refreshing novel recognizes how daily events often take on huge proportions in the minds of children and that with love, support, and kindness, youngsters can find their way.-Alice Casey Smith, Sayreville Public Schools, Parlin, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Charming nine-year-old Ruby invites readers to view life with her grandmother in small-town Halleluia, Mississippi, with a winsome third-person narrative that incorporates letters, newspaper articles and an abundance of comical details. Ages 8-12. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

Ruby hasn't come to terms with her grandfather's death in a car accident last year, and now her beloved grandmother is leaving for the summer. But a new friend--not to mention Ruby's pet chickens--helps her finally accept her grandfather's loss. The combination of third-person narrative, letters, and newspaper columns adds depth to Wiles's endearing characters and dimension to this touching story of grief and forgiveness. From HORN BOOK Fall 2001, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

Gr. 4^-6. Ruby Lavender is a nine-year-old charmer, in love with life and her adoring grandmother. She and Miss Eula keep in touch daily by leaving letters for each other in the knothole of a silver maple in Halleluia, Mississippi--that is, until Miss Eula goes to Hawaii to visit her son and his wife and her new granddaughter, Leilani. Ruby is crushed, forced to spend a hot summer on her own, and jealous, too, of a new little girl she fears will steal her grandmother's heart. But the summer is a maturing one as Ruby nurtures hatching chickens, makes a new friend, Dove, and finally comes to terms with her grandfather's death. Wiles has painted a picture of a time long past when communities were small and close-knit, people wrote letters, and chickens escaped only to create havoc at play practice. Yet she has also created a timeless story of life and death, the bond between grandparent and grandchild, and the reality that, regardless, "life does go on." --Frances Bradburn