I have completed the first of my summer reading! yay, me. Think I’ll take a break and watch some Gilmore Girls now since we Netflixed it a week ago and I haven’t watched it yet. But I digress.
The first book I chose off my Random Summer Reading List was Ruby Holler by Sharon Creech. I picked it because I wanted something not too heavy, not too dark, and not too hard. All requirements my kids give me when we visit the library every other week.
Well, it may two out of three of those requirements. It’s not dark, despite the fact that it’s about a pair of orphans (the “trouble twins”) who were left on the doorstep of an un-homey children’s home when they were about three months old. And it’s not hard, though I could find plenty of good vocabulary for my students (putrid is a favorite word of one of the characters and I’m not sure they know what that means). However, it is a bit heavy.
These troubled twins are Dallas and Florida (named for the box they were left in) and they have the unfortunate habit of being a bit mischievious and a lot sassy. But for kids who’ve been raised in and out of unloving foster homes, they’re not bad. Just rough around the edges.
Enter Ruby Holler. Literally. A sweet older couple who miss their grown children and are planning separate vacations to fulfill lifelong dreams of bird watching and river canoeing, offer to foster the twins for the summer and bring them to their little cabin in Ruby Holler.
Ruby Holler is something of a magical place. It reminds me of Suches maybe. Remote, beautiful, isolated, a bit lost in time. I’d like to live there and piece quilts and garden and foster trouble twins.
So while they are in Ruby Holler, Dallas and Florida start to learn a lot about themselves. Like maybe they’re not so much trouble after all. And maybe they are special. And probably they don’t really want to run away and jump the midnight train to….wherever.
The story left me with lots of questions. Which is good, but I can’t tell you what they are without ruining the story. Let’s just say if the twins are able to stay in Ruby Holler, they’ll probably figure out who their parents were. Eventually.
I really liked this book and am considering planning a novel unit around it. It’s rich with imagery and imagination and innocence. All things I like to bring into my classroom.
Definitely two thumbs up!