Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Weekly Reads: The Center of Everything
There is a group on Goodreads that discusses Newbery potential books on a monthly basis. I coerced a couple of my co-workers in to reading the same books they have suggested and having a mini lunch time book club to discuss them. The Center of Everything was June's book to read and discuss. So far of the books I've read with Newbery potential, this one is my favorite. It was a very quick read, I read it on the couch in between fever induced naps, and it took less than two hours.
The story follows Ruby Pepperdine as she prepares to read her Bunning Day speech atop a float in her city's annual parade celebration of doughnuts. The story weaves back and forth between her present nerves, waiting on the sidewalk for the floats to pass before she steps on her float to read, while also taking us back the past few months to explain how she came to be there. This was a great realistic fiction story for middle grade students that deals with a loss of a grandparent, trying to rectify friendships and relationships and just trying to understand life by figuring out the center of everything. While I'm unsure if this is actually a Newbery contender (my guess is no) it's still a must read for children ages 9-12.
My rating: 4 stars.
For Ruby Pepperdine, the “center of everything” is on the rooftop of Pepperdine Motors in her donut-obsessed town of Bunning, New Hampshire, stargazing from the circle of her grandmother Gigi’s hug. That’s how everything is supposed to be—until Ruby messes up and things spin out of control. But she has one last hope. It all depends on what happens on Bunning Day, when the entire town will hear Ruby read her winning essay. And it depends on her twelfth birthday wish—unless she messes that up too. Can Ruby’s wish set everything straight in her topsy-turvy world?