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Getting to Know Ruben Plotnick Hardcover – September 28, 2005


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3–An engaging story about family, friendship, and the challenges of dementia. Ruben Plotnick is the cool kid everyone at school wants to know. He's funny and a little wacky, but he always knows the right answers. He's smart. For some unexplained reason, he decides to befriend David, asking to go to his house to do schoolwork. David is thrilled–and worried. His Grandma Rosie has become so unpredictable. Will she do something to embarrass him? What will The Plotnick think? David need not have worried. The Plotnick proves himself to be much more than a smart clown. He has grace and he has heart. He relates immediately to someone who dances to her own beat, displaying maturity and confidence far beyond his age. And he shows David how to be compassionate and remain true to himself. The digital illustrations add amusing background details to keep the story light. Although the plot is awkward at the beginning, the story has a very sweet conclusion. This is an excellent choice for a group read-aloud or to help a child deal with fears of family embarrassment.–Mary Hazelton, Elementary Schools in Warren & Waldoboro, ME
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Review

"This is a story about real family values, compassion for others and how kids are often smarter than we think." —Simms Taback, author, Joseph Had a Little Overcoat and There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly


"[This book] waltzed into my heart and touched it in a way that no other children's book has." —Barbara Gruener, AcademicPlanet.com


"A lovely book about friendship and seeing people as they really are. Kids will think it's terrific fun. . ." —MyShelf.com


"Charming...lovely, filled with colorful illustrations that will make you smile." —Eclectic Homeschool Online


"Every character expands beyond stereotype…will help kids cope with their own concerns about being less than perfect."  —GRAND magazine



"So touching and great for your kids . . . a terrific book. Really, a terrific book." —Dr. Laura Schlessinger, radio show host


"This sensitive and clever story deals with school-age embarassment and what dementia looks like from a child's perspective."  —National Institute on Aging


"A truly delightful story . . . a must have in school libraries." —Children's Literature
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 860L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Flashlight Press (September 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972922555
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972922555
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,084,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
The delightful illustrations by Maurice J. Manning bring the story alive, adding to the overall charm.
Betty L. Dravis
The story is definitely one that school-age kids can relate to, as it so perfectly captures that dreadful "I just want to fit in and not be noticed too much" stage.
Nicole Soffin
It has provided a basis for some interesting and important discussion in our family about peers, relatives and growing older.
Choosy Mom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Betty L. Dravis VINE VOICE on August 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
GETTING TO KNOW RUBEN PLOTNICK is one of those rare books that has "high concept" ... a term I hear a lot from publishers looking for special books, books that could become best-sellers and/or classics.

Author Roz Rosenbluth chose a subject that's on people's minds more and more in recent years: dementia. She wove a charming story around Ruben Plotnick, a lovable, yet often wacky, boy with an endearing name and a heart of gold. When Ruben meets his new friend's Grandma Rosie, Ruben teaches David a thing or two about compassion ... and much more.

What does Grandma Rosie do to embarrass her grandson? How does Ruben handle it? What does the reader learn from this story? All those questions are answered as the story unfolds and follows its natural course to a sweet ending.

This sensitive and clever story is about friendship and real family values. I totally agree with the National Institute on Aging when they say the story deals with "what dementia looks like from a child's perspective."

The delightful illustrations by Maurice J. Manning bring the story alive, adding to the overall charm. Anyone who loves their aging parents or grandparents should read this book. It's a heart-warming slice of American life in the new millennium.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nicole Soffin on October 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
What a wonderfully moving book. I don't have kids (yet), but I can't wait to so that I can share this terrific story with them. The story is definitely one that school-age kids can relate to, as it so perfectly captures that dreadful "I just want to fit in and not be noticed too much" stage. But it is even more moving for adults, as it so gently and beautifully addresses the feelings triggered by watching a loved one grow old. I can't recommend this enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Choosy Mom on September 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
All three of my children and I love this book! It is funny, and touching without being sappy. It has provided a basis for some interesting and important discussion in our family about peers, relatives and growing older. Getting to Know Ruben Plotnick appeals to each of my children (ages 4, 8 and 11 years) at a level they can undestand. This is definately a book to own. Highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Kantor on September 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The "coolest kid" in the class usually is not also kind and perceptive, but that's a side of Ruben Plotnick that the narrator--and the reader--get to know. Seeing beneath the surface is just one of the discoveries made in this humorous and gentle story.
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Format: Hardcover
There's one in every class: smart and zany, irrepressible and super-cool. Everyone wants to be Ruben Plotnick's friend. When one day he suddenly asks to come home with quiet David after school, it's both a surprise and an honor.
So what's the problem? It's Grandma Rosie, who lives with David and his family. Grandma Rosie can be super-cool, too. She's awesome at checkers, she makes the best chocolate cookies, and she knows all the words to all the fun songs. But sometimes she forgets David's name, sometimes she knocks the checkerboard over, and sometimes she gets into arguments with Grandpa Nate, who has been dead for five years.
What will Ruben Plotnick think of Grandma Rosie? What if she does something weird while he's there? David secretly hopes Grandma Rosie will be taking a long nap when Ruben comes to visit.
Sure enough, Grandma Rosie looks at Ruben and says, "Nate, let's dance." But Ruben proves that he is indeed super-cool, in a scene that's both touching and delightful.
Sensitive drawings in digital pencil, watercolor, and chalk provide extra personality to the characters in a story that is both lively and lovely.
The generation gap may be awkward at times, but Ruben Plotnick and Grandma Rosie demonstrate the special bond possible between the young and the old. For any child who is at times embarrassed by an aging family member's erratic behavior, Getting to Know Ruben Plotnick shows that although relationships may change, love and understanding can still bring rich rewards.
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