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Ruby's Imagine Hardcover – September 8, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up—Ruby, nearly 18, is an imaginative young woman in present-day New Orleans. Her unique way of expressing herself sets her apart from others. She is one with nature, speaking to the plants and animals around her. She named the trees "Rooted People" and the birds "Flying People." A butterfly has told her of a coming "Big Spin." Ruby imagines her life prior to coming to live with her grandmother, Mammaloose, but the woman has no patience for Ruby's stories. The teen wonders if the memories of her mother and father and two sisters are real or just in her mind. When Hurricane Katrina hits and all seems lost, Mammaloose begins to reveal secrets that she has kept from Ruby for years. In the midst of the ruin of the city, Ruby's "imagine," her distinctive way of looking at the world, gives hope to survivors as they begin to rebuild their lives. With a delightful cast of characters and evocative descriptions of places and events, this is an affecting story.—Denise Moore, O'Gorman Junior High School, Sioux Falls, SD
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From Booklist

Ruby is a child of nature, and she communes with sparrows, trees, and butterflies, even in the heart of her New Orleans neighborhood that her grandmother, Mammaloose, refuses to call a “ward.” Ruby’s animal friends let her know that “a Big Spin“ is coming, but stubborn Mammaloose refuses to heed such fanciful communication, and she ignores her neighbors’ evacuation and the media’s escalating warnings. Then Hurricane Katrina arrives, tearing the roof off their shabby house and exposing their attic shelter, along with a host of family secrets. Antieau offers a complex, personal account of Katrina and her aftermath, compounding the horror of the storm with the details of individual tribulations. Readers will feel the vulnerability and despair of the communities affected by the storm, as well as the strength with which survivors faced it down. Ruby’s atmospheric narrative is as dense and pungent as the bayou, her words an honest expression of her unique world view, and a clue to the long-sought secrets of her past. Grades 6-10. --Thom Barthelmess
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 540L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (September 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618997679
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618997671
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,086,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Gold Star Award Winner!

There is a big storm coming. A "Big Spin," as Ruby calls it. Ruby knows the storm is coming because Ruby Butterfly told her, and the Big Oaks told Ruby Butterfly. So it must be true. But, should Ruby tell anyone else? Her grandmother, Mammaloose, says that Ruby just makes things up. Mammaloose probably wouldn't believe her. She would just say it's one more thing from Ruby's imagine. Kind of like Ruby's memories of her sisters and living in the swamp. Just Ruby's imagine.

Not real at all.

Ruby lives in Louisiana with Mammaloose and Uncle Gilbert. Ruby has a special way of talking. Her friend JayEl says it is like Ruby paints a picture with her words. Its just one more thing that makes Ruby stand apart from other people.

Mammaloose isn't particularly loving towards Ruby, but she has her good friends, human and otherwise. The flying people, the rooted people, Samuel Beckett Sparrow and Maya Angelou Hummingbird, Mr. Lagniappe and JayEl, all seem to understand Ruby better than her own grandmother. And Ruby loves everyone. And she warns them that the storm is coming. The storm is real, and it is coming straight toward them. Everything Ruby knows and imagines is about to change because the storm is bringing more destruction than anyone could have imagined and more truth as well.

As Ruby sees her neighborhood swallowed up by the water, she also finds out the truth about the family secrets that have been kept from her for too long. As it turns out, not everything was just Ruby's imagine.

RUBY'S IMAGINE is a true gem of a novel. You become immediately immersed in Ruby's world through her use of highly evocative words and her pure feelings for everyone and everything around her.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of those rare special books, where the reader is totally drawn into the story. Ruby's use of language and the way she views her world is mystical and, at the same time, processes a no-nonsense, matter-of-fact manner. As you read, you will see the magic of the world the way Ruby does.
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By Arthur Underhill on November 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A Gem of a book.
Kim Antieau's writing can be hard to find but worth the effort.
Easy to read, though in dialect-well packaged and for all ages over twelve years.
Follow Ruby and "the Big Spin" to learn about what might and did happen when the Hurricane strikes.
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Format: Hardcover
One of my favorites. Gives you much to think about wrapped up in a wonderfully magical story. Ruby is a true gem.
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