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Book Review

New Middle Reader Books From Mother And Son


Former Wichitans, Lois and Jeffrey Ruby—mother and son—show us that writing is in their blood. Each has a new book targeted to middle grade readers.

In Lois’s book, The Secret Grave, Hannah seeks solace from her large family. Behind their ramshackle and rickety historic home she finds refuge in a forest. There she meets the malevolent Cady, with whom she strikes up an instant friendship. Loneliness can be blinding. Cady, possessive and weird, eventually insists on testing Hannah’s loyalty. When mysterious things start happening around Hannah’s house and she discovers a 100-year-old grave, Hannah awakens to the fact that something very scary is going on. Lois Ruby delivers a solid, suspenseful, creepy story of friendship and family.

In Jeffrey's debut novel, called Penelope March is Melting, family and friendship also play a significant role. When Penelope's mother disappeared, she left Penelope with her father and younger brother to eke out a living in their tiny town of Glacier Cove. But Glacier Cove has a big problem: the glacier beneath it is melting. Sometimes answers to problems come from unlikely places, and the town eccentric seems to know what to do. Penelope and her brother, Miles, are suddenly on a fantastical adventure beyond anything she could have imagined. Full of humor and heart, Jeffrey Ruby is on solid ground in his nascent career as a writer. 

There must be something in the water in Wichita (though not fluoride) as the burgeoning talent of middle grade book authors is rooting up in impressive numbers!