14 July 2008

26. Ruby Holler

Ruby Holler, by Sharon Creech, is ultimately a story about love and family. The story centers around thirteen year old twins, Dallas and Florida. They grew up at the Boxton Creek Home for Children as they were orphaned shortly after they were born. Unfortunately, Boxton Creek Home for Children is not a nice place to grow up as the owners are only interested in one thing - their profits. Because Dallas and Florida have been there so long, they know all of the rules and break most of them. The owners refer to the twins as the "trouble twins." Although they have been to a number of foster homes, they always gget sent back to the Home. Their luck changes when Tiller and Sairy, a much older couple with grown children, asks the Home if they can have the twins stay with them in Ruby Holler as they need some help preparing for a trip. Suspicious, the twins do not understand why they are NOT always in trouble. Their lives turn into a wonderful adventure in Ruby Holler and they solve a mystery that puts an end to the Boxton Creek Home for Children. They learn that parenting does not have to be cruel and that family is forever.

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
PAGES: 310
TYPE: Fiction
RECOMMEND: While I liked this book, I did not love it. Still I think it might offer some interesting lessons for young children

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