I have recently become a huge fan of the author Lenore Look. How can you not love an author who describes herself on Twitter as: “writer, re-writer, deadline misser, wrong-turn maker, detour taker, yoga pose messer-upper, raconteur extraordinaire.”
Look’s first professional titles were picture books that were both heartwarming and funny. She has continued that tradition with her juvenile fiction series, Ruby Lu, and the bestseller Alvin Ho. All of her titles feature Asian characters living in America that are easily relatable to readers of every nationality. Look’s Alvin Ho books have gained a lot of critical acclaim and popularity among young readers, but the Ruby Lu series is not one to be missed either. Ruby Lu is written for slightly younger readers and can be found in our Easy Fiction section.
The series begins with second grader Ruby Lu introducing readers to her large family and her daily struggles as a second grader. Ruby Lu, Star of the Show is the third book in the series. Ruby is starting 3rd grade. She lives with her large family in a household that consists of her parents, her baby brother, and cousin Flying Duck and Flying Duck’s parents who are all from China. The book touches on some important issues facing today’s children. Ruby’s father loses his job, her mother joins the workforce for the first time in Ruby’s life, and Flying Duck’s family assimilates to life in America. Add to that Flying Duck is deaf and is fluent in Chinese Sign Language, but not American Sign Language, and you have a lot of issues that kids in all neighborhoods can relate to.
The story centers around Ruby trying to adjust to life on a very tight budget and has a great subplot about her relationship with her dog, Elvis, which it turns out, knows all of kinds of tricks because he comes from a very special background. Although heavy on issues, this story is never heavy handed. Ruby is a delightful child and the characters in these books are funny and touching, and never overly sarcastic or mean to each other. It is a great choice for kids who have liked Judy Moody and Clementine who are a little too young to read Alvin Ho.
Posted by: Kelly