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About Laura Ruby
Her short fiction for adults has appeared in various literary magazines, including Other Voices and The Florida Review. A collection of these stories, I'M NOT JULIA ROBERTS, was published by Warner Books in January 2007. Called "hilarious and heart-wrenching" by People and "a knowing look at the costs and rewards of remaking a family," by the Miami Herald, the book was also featured in Redbook, Working Mother, and USA Today, among others.
Raised in the wilds of suburban New Jersey, Laura Ruby now lives in the Chicago area with her husband and two cats that serve as creative advisors.
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National Book Award 2019 Finalist!
From the author of Printz Medal winner Bone Gap comes the unforgettable story of two young women—one living, one dead—dealing with loss, desire, and the fragility of the American dream during WWII.
When Frankie’s mother died and her father left her and her siblings at an orphanage in Chicago, it was supposed to be only temporary—just long enough for him to get back on his feet and be able to provide for them once again. That’s why Frankie's not prepared for the day that he arrives for his weekend visit with a new woman on his arm and out-of-state train tickets in his pocket.
Now Frankie and her sister, Toni, are abandoned alongside so many other orphans—two young, unwanted women doing everything they can to survive.
And as the embers of the Great Depression are kindled into the fires of World War II, and the shadows of injustice, poverty, and death walk the streets in broad daylight, it will be up to Frankie to find something worth holding on to in the ruins of this shattered America—every minute of every day spent wondering if the life she's able to carve out will be enough.
I will admit I do not know the answer. But I will be watching, waiting to find out.
That’s what ghosts do.
National Book Award Finalist * Printz Award Winner for Best Young Adult Book of the Year
“Ruby’s novel deserves to be read and reread. It is powerful, beautiful, extraordinary.”—School Library Journal
Everyone knows Bone Gap is full of gaps.
So when young, beautiful Roza went missing, the people of Bone Gap weren’t surprised. But Finn knows what really happened to Roza. He knows she was kidnapped by a dangerous man whose face he cannot remember.
As we follow the stories of Finn, Roza, and the people of Bone Gap, acclaimed author Laura Ruby weaves a tale of the ways in which the face the world sees is never the sum of who we are.
The thrilling conclusion to two-time National Book Award finalist Laura Ruby’s epic adventure through the streets of an alternate New York City.
It was only a few days ago that Tess Biedermann, Theo Biedermann, and Jaime Cruz, along with a mysterious figure from the past, managed to survive an assault on the location of the latest clue in the Morningstarr cipher—and, in the process, made a shocking discovery about their own connection to this one-hundred-sixty-year-old enigma.
Now the friends are divided. Tess and Theo have no idea what the photo they found in Greenwood Cemetery means, but Jaime is convinced that they do, and that they’ve been keeping their own secrets from him. As the city continues to break around them, suddenly solving the greatest mystery of the modern world seems less important than saving their own friendship.
The stakes of completing the cipher, however, have never been higher. Darnell Slant, real estate developer and owner of all the Morningstarr buildings, knows that they hold one last secret: a power that even the Morningstarrs themselves never revealed. The world has rested on a precarious balance of power for generations; now Slant and his shadowy business partners aim to unbalance it.
It’s up to Tess, Theo, and Jaime to uncover the Morningstarrs’ final mystery in a desperate attempt to set things right. The world—theirs, and possibly others—depends on it.
“The pleasures of the novel go far beyond the crackling, breathless plot and the satisfaction of watching the puzzle fall into place. The book is shot through with humor, both laugh-out-loud and subtle.” —New York Times Book Review
From National Book Award finalist and Printz Award winner Laura Ruby comes an epic alternate history series about three kids who try to solve the greatest mystery of the modern world: a puzzle and treasure hunt laid into the very streets and buildings of New York City.
It was 1798 when the Morningstarr twins arrived in New York with a vision for a magnificent city: towering skyscrapers, dazzling machines, and winding train lines, all running on technology no one had ever seen before.
Fifty-seven years later, the enigmatic architects disappeared, leaving behind for the people of New York the Old York Cipher—a puzzle laid into the shining city they constructed, at the end of which was promised a treasure beyond all imagining. By the present day, however, the puzzle has never been solved, and the greatest mystery of the modern world is little more than a tourist attraction.
Tess and Theo Biedermann and their friend Jaime Cruz live in a Morningstarr apartment—until a real estate developer announces that the city has agreed to sell him the five remaining Morningstarr buildings. Their likely destruction means the end of a dream long held by the people of New York.
And if Tess, Theo, and Jaime want to save their home, they have to prove that the Old York Cipher is real. Which means they have to solve it.
"An epic mission to solve one of the greatest mysteries of their time. I loved this book. It is full of twists and turns" (from the Brightly.com review, which named York: The Shadow Cipher one of the best books of 2017).
National Book Award finalist Laura Ruby returns with the middle chapter in her epic alternate-history adventure—a journey that will test Tess, Theo, and Jaime and change their lives forever.
It was only a few weeks ago that the Biedermann twins, Tess and Theo, along with their friend Jaime Cruz, followed the secrets of the Morningstarrs’ cipher further than anyone had in its century-and a-half history—and destroyed their beloved home in the process.
But the Old York Cipher still isn’t solved. The demolition of 354 W. 73rd Street only revealed the next clue in the greatest mystery of the modern world, and if Tess, Theo, and Jaime want to discover what lies at the end of the puzzle laid into the buildings of New York by its brilliant, enigmatic architects, they will need to press on.
But doing so could prove even more dangerous than they know. It is clear that the Morningstarr twins marshaled all the strange technology they had spent their lives creating in the construction of the Cipher, and that technology has its own plans for those who pursue it.
It's also clear that Tess, Theo, and Jaime are not the only ones on the trail of the treasure. As enemies both known and unknown close in on them from all sides and the very foundations of the city seem to crumble around them, they will have to ask themselves how far they will go to change the unchangeable—and whether the price of knowing the secrets of the Morningstarrs is one they are willing to pay.
Lily is Furious.
She can't believe she has to move again after her mom's break-up with the latest loser boyfriend. Now they're broke and they'll have to spend the winter in Uncle Wes's creepy house in Cape May, New Jersey.
And the place is crawling with ghosts.
From the spiteful teenager who mistakes Lily for her high school nemesis to the restless spirit of her eccentric Uncle Max, Lily is haunted by a host of unhappy phantoms. But why are they here? And what do they want?
With the help of some mysterious clues, Lily and an intriguing new friend, local boy Vaz, uncover a sinister plot. If they don't foil the villainous plan in time, they may end up doing some haunting of their own.
Reviews and Awards:
"A slightly spooky, romantic mystery. This should be a movie just so ‘tweens and teens will come ask for the book." -- Kirkus Reviews (this text refers to the hardcover edition)
"Readers will keep turning pages to get to the (surprise) ending, but also because they'll be rooting for something good to happen to Lily." -- Miami Herald (this text refers to the hardcover edition)
* An Edgar Award Nominee for Best Juvenile Mystery
* A Parent's Choice Silver Honor for Fiction
* The Center for Children's Books Best Books of the Year List
* One of the Chicago Public Library's "Best of the Best"
* One of the New York Public Library's Books for the Teenage
* A Sunshine State Award Book
* A Garden State Book Award Nominee
* A Rhode Island State Award Nominee
From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8-A cast of eccentric characters plays out this intriguing story, which opens with an enticing description of Cape May, NJ, and the hint that ghosts might be hovering about. Lily, 13, and her mother have just moved to this shore community after her mother's breakup with her latest boyfriend. They take up residence in the old Victorian home owned by her mom's Uncle Wes, a relative with whom they have had little contact. Very soon, inexplicable things begin to happen: strange phone calls, objects changing location, jam in her shoes. Before long, Lily realizes that she is being haunted, and she resolves to solve a mystery from the past that involves her uncle's house and several of her relatives. The story shifts back and forth between her reality and a parallel world inhabited by ghosts, giving the book multiple dimensions and keeping readers guessing. A likable character, Lily is curious and courageous in her attempts to get to the bottom of things. A friendship develops between her and a local boy who helps her in her quest for the truth. Readers will be hooked right up to the surprising ending.
Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
"Ruby doesn't horrify so much as she insinuates in gracefully nuanced language that provides chilling support for the action. Make room for this first novel on the surefire ghost tale shelf." -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"A fast-paced, comic tale." -- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"A spirited novel.. Readers will fly through the pages." -- Chicago Sun-Times
"Satisfying. A good bet for girls ages 10 through 14." -- Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Sure to delight the reader…will tickle readers’ funny bones.
Some people would say this is the story of a photograph. How it was taken and what happened to me after the whole world saw it. And it is. But it's also the story of a lot of other things.
So look at the picture all you want.
I am so much more than what you see.
"If I really wanted to open up, I'd confess that I really am the liar everyone believes I am."
High-school junior Tola Riley has green hair, a nose ring, an attitude problem, and a fondness for fairy tales, which are a great escape from real life. Everyone thinks she's crazy; everyone says so. Everyone except Mr. Mymer, her art teacher. He gets her paintings and lets her hang out in the art room during lonely lunch periods.
But then rumors start flying and Tola is suddenly the center of a scandal. The whole town is judging her—even her family. When Mr. Mymer is suspended for what everyone thinks is an affair, she has no choice but to break her silence. Fairy tales won't help her this time . . . so how can she tell the truth? And, more importantly, will anyone believe her?
Eddy knows how to play the game.
He is, after all, the writer, director, and cameraman—the mastermind, really—behind the hit online TV show Riot Grrl 16. When it wins a contest to be aired on MTV (and it obviously will—have you seen the competition?), he'll be famous.
Then there's the game of love. Eddy knows all the tricks, and his favorite girls are the ones with the fishnets and cherry lipstick and legs up to there. The ones who know he doesn't make any promises. The ones who are cool with it.
But as graduation looms, everything and everyone starts deviating from Eddy's master script. Never in a million years did he expect to be facing off again with the unapproachable, perfect Lucinda Dulko. For once in his life, he's not in control—and to be with Lucinda, he's willing to get swept up in the game. But what happens to a player when the rules suddenly change?
Can Eddy find a way to win it all?
Or will he get played?
In this tightly interconnected collection of ten short stories, author Laura Ruby chronicles the progress of Lu, Beatrix, Roxie and their various steps and exes as they take the perilous plunge into the maelstrom of the so-called "blended family." Both ruefully funny and wickedly insightful, I Am Not Julia Roberts offers finely-observed, honest and affecting takes on kids, step-kids, divorce, remarriage...and the movie Stepmom.