Friday, February 8, 2013

A Review of The Center of Everything

The Center of Everything
by Linda Urban

208 Pages
Ages 9 and up Publication date: March 5th 2013 
by Harcourt Children's Books 

Review copy provided by

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars!   

A Brief Synopsis:
Ruby Pepperdine lives in the town of Bunning, New Hampshire.  The town's claim to fame is the late Captain Bunning is said to be the original creator of the donut.  

Twelve year-old Ruby is mourning the recent loss of her beloved grandmother, Gigi.  To add to her feelings of loss, Ruby is feeling guilty for not "really listening" to her when her grandmother wanted to talk.  She would do just about anything to go back in time to talk with her and listen.  Ruby makes a wish on her birthday that she hopes will change everything. 

Ruby has been selected to read her Bunning Day essay at the Bunning Day parade.  This honor is bestowed on one child each year.  To prepare for her essay, Ruby starts to go to the library where she sees Niro, a boy in her grade.  The two get to know each other better and develop a friendship.  When her overly-dramatic best friend Lucy finds out about this friendship, she feels threatened and jealous.  Can Ruby keep her longtime best friend and her new friend Niro?  Will her wish come true and help ease her guilt?  Will she be able to deliver her essay in front of everyone?  

Linda Urban writes beautifully.  She creates characters and situations that are easy for students to relate to. Although it takes place only on one day, Urban uses flashbacks to tell the whole story.  I predict this book will gain lots of attention in the coming months.

I would recommend this book for students in grade 4 and up. Students who enjoy a good book that include conflicts with friends, and getting to know oneself will enjoy this book.  
In my opinion, The Center of Everything is better read independently, not necessarily as a class read aloud.  
Themes include: death of a grandparent, friendship, friendship conflicts, family, courage and faith. 

Click here to learn more about Linda Urban's books.

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