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Ruby Lu, Brave and True Hardcover – March 1, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-3--Ruby Lu makes her debut in this funny and charming chapter book. Full of joie de vivre, the eight-year-old loves her family, particularly her baby brother, Oscar; wearing reflective tape; and performing in her own backyard magic show. Plot development is episodic but steady as Ruby musters up her courage to attend Chinese school; she confronts mean Christina from California; and she decides to drive herself to school. (Her parents are frantic when their children and car are missing, but Ruby thinks that her biggest mistake was parking in the principal's spot.) Looming large is the fact that her cousin, Flying Duck, is emigrating from China and Ruby will have to share her bedroom. All is well, however, when Flying Duck gets off the airplane wearing reflective tape. Clever book design includes a playful copyright page and a small flip book of one of Ruby's magic tricks on the lower right-hand corner of each page. "Ruby's Fantastic Glossary and Pronunciation Guide" explains unfamiliar terms related to Chinese culture. Generous font, ample white space, and animated and active illustrations rendered in India ink make this a perfect choice for readers who are looking for alternatives to Barbara Park's "Junie B. Jones" books (Random).--Debbie Stewart, Grand Rapids Public Library, MI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 1-3. Look's Asian American perspective is always like a breath of fresh air in picture books. With Ruby Lu, she ventures for the first time into chapter-book territory, and the results are mixed. Her chapters are oddly disjointed, and the narrative doesn't flow from one chapter into the next. Rather it reads like a collection of nine short stories in which Ruby worries about going to Chinese school (Do they really serve snacks of roasted snakes?), the arrival of a cousin from China whom she's never met, and more. In addition, because the book is billed as the first in a series, Look introduces a load of details to establish character and setting, which threaten to overwhelm what little continuity there is. Still, there's some sparkle here, and Look certainly addresses the need for a recurring Asian American character. A little tightening may give future books the extra punch they need. Terry Glover
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 5
  • Lexile Measure: 640L (What's this?)
  • Series: Ruby Lu
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (March 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689849079
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689849077
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,172,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lenore Look began making picture books in kindergarten, and it took her the next thirty years to get it right. Her first book was finally published in 1999, followed by more picture books and two chapter book series. On good days, she's a regular writing machine. On bad days, she goes shopping. Her Alvin Ho series has turned her into a Red Sox fan (see photo), and a wearer of Sox paraphernalia (see photo), and a collector of Fenway Park trivia (see same photo). Her Ruby Lu series is set in Seattle, where she grew up, and makes her long for foggy mornings and slugs on the sidewalks. She currently lives in New Jersey.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
56%
4 star
33%
3 star
11%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 9 customer reviews
I guess maybe it was because our expectations were too high.
Poppyseed
You will soon be caught up in the imaginations of Ruby Lu & the whole menagerie.
mcHaiku
I do recommend, "Ruby Lu" and I do recommend it to my library patrons.
E. R. Bird

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on December 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
My library is divided into five different reading levels. In the first are the baby books, next come picture books, and after that easy readers for kids who are just beginning to read on their own. After that come the young reader books (early chapter books in laymen's terms) and finally full-out chapter books. The younger readers contain the widest assortment of reading levels. All of them are for kids who are past "Cat In the Hat" but aren't yet reading, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince". Writing early chapter titles is therefore a monumental and infinitely difficult task. The so-so writers come out with countless sci-fi spooky books and the like. The better writers are able to synthesize their writing into a delicate balance between real life issues and situations that kids are going to find interesting. Paul Danzinger's, "Amber Brown" books do this brilliantly. And now "Ruby Lu, Brave and True" does too.

Ruby Lu likes her life. Who wouldn't? She has lots of friends, a teacher who's a magician, and now a brand new baby brother, Oscar. Ruby has problems too, though. She gets into a competition with her friend Emma. Emma has a little brother named Sam, and she and Lily constantly compare their brother's developmental processes. Then there's the fact that Lily's going to Chinese school to learn her family's language and she doesn't pick it up immediately. There's Christina, the mean girl on the street who makes fun of everyone for wearing Lily's dad's knitting. And then there was that time that Lily parked the family car in the principal's parking spot... Well, it just adds up to a lot of a problems but also a lot of fine fine solutions too.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on August 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Hello, all you folks out there! You can call me StoryMaker (notice the capital M) and, well...I usually just start my reviews with "Hi, you can call me StoryMaker" or something but that dosen't matter. Onto the review already. The book Ruby Lu, Brave and True by Lenore Look is, well...great! We checked it out from the library and I didn't want to read it because I heard that Ruby drove a car even though she's, like...maybe not even 8 years old! But my mom made me, and I'm sure glad she did! Ruby Lu lives on 20th Avenue South, and she has a baby brother named Oscar. As the story proggresses, new characters will appear - very interesting characters indeed, that make the story really interesting! Lots of new characters are added when Ruby goes to Chinese school, suggested by her mom so she can understand her grandparents who only speak the languages of China. Ruby dosen't want to - she hears really nasty things about Chinese school! But soon she does, and she meets lots of cool people! Other people are also met, and the story just keeps getting better! Here's some lists to give you more info:

PROS / Good things:

Very cool and interesting characters

Good lessons

Good reading level (about grades 2-4)

Little flip-book sort of in right-page corners (if you flip pages quickly)

Cool guide about pernounciation & definitions at back

CONS / Bad things:

Some of the illustrations could be better

The right-page corners isn't the best place for a flip-book

A little too quick-moving (Some problems are solved too quickly)

Well, that's about it...if I thought I could come up with a more descriptive review, probably...but overall, get Ruby Lu, Brave and True! Signed, StoryMaker. "Gotta trust the kid's review!"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By mcHaiku on March 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book could be called a "quick read" but DON'T you do that. Take it as slow as if you are Ruby Lu backing out of the driveway when you're almost 8 years old, with your baby brother in the back seat . . .

Then read about every neighborhood character; next, flip the page corners that reveal the secret of a magic trick; learn the true meaning of "LOL"(a computer phrase not included in "Ruby's Fantastic Glossary") . . . oh, and don't miss the Dedication, either.

Ruby Lu will lift any Monday morning gloom, then snuggle close with the kids at bedtime & celebrate reading together. You will soon be caught up in the imaginations of Ruby Lu & the whole menagerie. Lenore Look delivers pure delight, plus *heart-healthy* laughs. One thing sure you'll be scouting the bookstore for the team of Lenore Look & Anne Wilsdorf every time you go shopping.

REVIEWER mcHAIKU claims this book is as sweet as "daan taht" and as satisfying as my last "dim sum" in S.F.'s Chinatown.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Being an Asian American, I was excited to find a chapter book featuring an Asian American girl to read to my daughter (age 5). Ruby Lu was definitely a fun book to read, but it was not one of the more intriguing chapter books that we read. We also didn't feel that we need to continue to follow Ruby Lu with her adventures. I guess maybe it was because our expectations were too high.
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By Rose M. Torres on June 19, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like Ruby Lu because she's Chinese and has a gung gung and pohpoh just like me and she's goes to Chinese school too!
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