The Center of Everything

The Center of Everything

Book - 2013
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Twelve-year-old Ruby finds her life spinning out of control in the wake of questionable choices and dreads an upcoming reading of her award-wining essay.
Publisher: Boston, Massachusetts :, Harcourt Children's Books,, [2013]
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9780605593138
9780547763484
Characteristics: 197 pages ;,20 cm.

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JCLChrisK May 23, 2014

I only regret my reading of this was so sporadic, because I'm pretty sure I would have gotten even more out of it and given it a higher rating had I enjoyed it as a continuous experience instead of a series of spurts.

Nearly the entire story takes place over the course of a single parade, after all. Ruby has won her town's annual essay contest and gets to read her winning entry as part of the festivities, and as she waits for her moment she reflects on everything that has led to it. Particularly, her bottled grief over her grandmother's death, her fight the day before with her two good friends, and her wish that she is sure will magically come true to make everything better. Ruby may appear nondescript and go (intentionally) unnoticed by most adults, but inside she is a mess of deep emotions, thoughts, worries, and questions.

Just like its protagonist, this is a deeply thoughtful, quietly affecting book that feels entirely real and true.

m2 Sep 03, 2013

Beautifully written and plotted book about a young girl's struggle to deal with grief over the loss of her grandmother. There is humor, sweetness, gentle sadness and the spark of a new relationship. Lovely.

ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD Jul 25, 2013

A literary work of middle grade to its core, I’m not going to tell you that every kid that reads this book is going to love it, because it simply isn’t true. This is a book for the thinkers and the dreamers. Philosophical kiddos. Smarter than the average bear, Urban’s put her neck out there and written something big in a small package.

JCLBrownM Apr 30, 2013

Don't confuse this with Linda Moriarty's very good adult book with the same title, though both are about struggling young girls. This one is about 12 yr. olf Ruby Pepperdine who is struggling with the death of her grandmother and misunderstandings between friends.

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ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD Jul 25, 2013

Everything hinges on Ruby getting this right. Today, after all, is Bunning Day, the most important day in Bunning, New Hampshire. It’s the day she’ll get up and read her award winning essay in front of everybody. And in that moment she’ll be able to make everything right with her best friend Lucy and her new friend Nero. They’ll forgive her. And that wish she made on her birthday, the one that is destined to come true . . . well, that’s a given, isn’t it? Trouble is, even the best laid plans of mice and men sometimes go horribly awry. It’s Bunning Day. Ruby has her notecards in her hands. The parade has begun. Something is going to happen.

JCLBrownM Apr 30, 2013

Don't confuse this with Linda Moriarty's very good adult book with the same title, though both are about struggling young girls. This one is about 12 yr. olf Ruby Pepperdine who is struggling with the death of her grandmother and misunderstandings between friends.

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ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD Jul 25, 2013

“What if there is no supposed to? What if there is no one way things are meant to be? What if it all is just random and spinny and wild?”

ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD Jul 25, 2013

“In third grade she figured out that if you put your hand up in class when everyone else did, you probably wouldn’t get called on, but you also probably wouldn’t get called on when nobody put their hand up either. Teachers mostly picked the kids who never put their hands up . . . ”

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ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD Jul 25, 2013

ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 12

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