Saturday, October 30, 2010

November Juvenile Book of the Month

Ruby Holler
By Sharon Creech

Dallas and Florida have been labeled trouble twins. No matter what they touch, you can expect it to be broken, dirty, or ruined when they get done with it. But it’s not entirely their fault. Dallas and Florida are orphans and have to live with the putrid couple, the Trepids. The Trepids have been trying to get rid of the trouble twins for quite some time, but every family that is even slightly considering adopting always sends them back. Dallas and Florida have grown up with harsh punishments like hours in the dark, creepy basement and wearing scratchy “I’ve Been Bad” shirts. It is just assumed by now that everything Dallas and Florida do is going to be wrong.

One day Mr. Trepid tells the twins that they are leaving the home for a few months. The twins are to accompany an older couple on their vacations. Tiller and Sairy Morey want to go on separate vacations away from their quiet life in Ruby Holler, a hidden piece of land far from town. Tiller wants to row down a river and Sairy wants to hike over hills in search of an elusive bird. At first, the twins think the couple is crazy. They will certainly make Dallas and Florida their slaves; making them dig wells, and tend to pigs. All Dallas and Florida want to do is steal away into the night and catch the first night train out of town. It is only when the twins arrive at their new home in Ruby Holler that they realize that there might actually be nice people in the world. Dallas and Florida purposely do things wrong to test the reactions of the couple but are never scolded or punished. As time passes, the twins learn to respect and care about Tiller and Sairy.

Ruby Holler presents a pleasant place with understanding people. Creech tells a story that shows that kids need positive reinforcement to be healthy, well-adjusted people. The relationship between the Moreys and the twins is magical. Both sides find what was missing in their lives. Ruby Holler is a story of loyalty, adventure, and compassion.