Ruby's List review by esmyrelda23
Age Range - 12 and up
Genre - Juvenile Fiction
Five Star Award

LitPick Review

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Age at time of review - 40
Reviewer's Location - Charlevoix, Michigan, United States
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Ruby's List by Mary Mager is a story about 12 year-old Ruby Denton and her family, and the trials and triumphs of a sixth grader. However, Ruby is not just a regular sixth grader.  Her mom is an Army nurse stationed in Afghanistan, so along with the constant worry for her mom, she also has the anxieties of sixth grade. She, her brother, and her father have moved in with her grandmother while her mother is away. Ruby has lists for everything: prayers, homework, shopping, and a journal her mom gave her before she was deployed. Ruby starts to have suspicions her father is hiding something and an uneasy feeling that her life is about to change. What is her father hiding? Will her mom return from deployment unscathed? Is there a secret that will destroy their family?



Ruby’s List, a story filled with family, faith, friends and freedom, is a delightful read for anyone. The plot is entertaining, following Ruby and her family through the change of seasons, holidays, and all that comes with being a sixth grade girl. Ruby is a smart girl, with intuition and maturity beyond her years.  The characters are well developed, and the reader can feel what Ruby is feeling in the midst of the situation she finds herself. Readers will feel longing for Ruby’s mother with her, be angry or frustrated with classmates alongside her, and have an overall reminiscence of their own sixth grade trials and triumphs. The underlying theme of the family secret is wonderfully woven through the story, keeping the reader interested and reading on to find the answer to the secret. The theme of faith is greatly refreshing in this story and not overbearing, but present and in the forefront. The pride and reverence for service members and their families is also refreshing, and a much needed social reminder. Worthy of a repeat read, Ruby’s List makes one want to explore all of Mary Mager’s books. 

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A delightful read for adolescents and teens.




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