A Newbery Contender

18 Apr

I’ve read many books published in 2013 and I have finally found my first Newbery contender.

Unknown

The Center of Everything by Linda Urban takes place in one brief moment of one day. Ruby Pepperdine, chosen to give this year’s founder’s day speech, is standing in a circle, awaiting her time to speak. As she stands there, she reflects on the events that have led her there, friendship, family, death, time travel, and the meaning of “should”. The book starts of slowly and builds. You are drawn into Ruby’s world in such a gentle way you hardly even realize how hooked you are until you are completely hooked. It’s the creative way the book is organized and the empathetic writing that makes this a Newbery contender. Ruby is standing in a circle, at the center of everything, trying to make sense of the world. The story isn’t linear; it passes back and forth between present to past in a way that lets us know Ruby intimately. Urban’s focus on the details Ruby sees as she stands in the circle is almost poetic. I can think of several kids and adults who will love this book.

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