Ruby on the Outside


What does it feel like to have a mother in prison?

For eleven year old Ruby Danes the summer before middle school is looking long and lonely when her one friend, Kristen, goes off to camp leaving Ruby with no one to hang out with.  Then, Ruby meets Margalit at the pool near the apartment where she lives with her aunt and life starts to change...maybe even for the better.

Each girl has a secret.  Ruby's secret is that her mother is in prison.  If Margalit finds out, will she want to be friends with Ruby?   Or will that be the end of something that has made Ruby's life make so much more sense.  Ruby is discovering the truth about herself this summer and she's beginning to understand how her mother's choices have made a difference in how Ruby sees herself and what she believes life has to offer.  Ruby is also struggling with the anger she feels toward her mother.  Should she tell her how she feels or keep that secret, too?

What is Margalit's secret?  Why has she chosen Ruby to be her best friend?  

This story holds some truths that could turn a lot of lives around.    Great story of friendship, identity, and understanding who you are in the world when those closest to you create spaces you would not choose.

9781442485037  Ages 9-13   163 pages

Read alike:  All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor; Harry Sue by Sue Stauffacher

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