Ruby Holler won the Carnegie Award for Children's Literature in 2002.
From the author's website:
About six years ago I received a letter from my aunt in which she related a story about my father when he was young. She ended the story with "and that was when we lived in the holler." Holler? I hadn't known about the holler and was intrigued by the notion of my father and his many siblings and parents living in this place. I began to imagine the place, and as I did so, I knew it would be a great setting for a story, but it was several years before I began to see who the characters might be who would live in this holler. I think that the older couple, Tiller and Sairy, evolved because I was thinking of my grandparents living in a holler, and this couple resembles my grandparents in some ways. The children, Dallas and Florida, probably came to life because I'd been thinking of my father as a mischievous child (that was evident in the original story my aunt told) and his equally-mischievous siblings. After I'd begun the story, I saw a real photo of my grandparents' house in the holler. The house was but a tiny shack, rather decrepit looking, and the holler wasn't as enchanting as the one I imagined. I'm glad I didn't see the photo before I began the story!
TITLE: Ruby Holler
AUTHOR: Sharon Creech
RECOMMEND: While I liked this book, I did not love it. Still I think it might offer some interesting lessons for young children