Synopses & Reviews
Chapter OneThe Silver Bird
Dallas leaned far out of the window, his eyes fixed on a bird flying lazily in the distance. Sun slanted through the clouds above, as if a spotlight were aimed on the bird.
"A silver bird, Dallas thought. A magical silver bird.
The bird turned suddenly, veering south over the small town of Boxton, toward the faded yellow building and the window from which Dallas leaned. Dallas stretched his arm out. Here! he called. Over here!
The bird swooped toward him and then rose up over the building, high, high into the air, over the alley and the train tracks and the dried-up creek. Dallas watched it rise on the air currents over one brown hill and then another, until it disappeared.
He tried to follow it in his mind. He imagined it flying on until it spied a narrow green valley, a scooped-out basin with a creek looping and winding its way through the center. He pictured it swooping down from the sky into this basin in the hills, to this place where cool breezes drifted through the trees, and where the creek was so clear that every stone on its bottom was visible.
Maybe the silver bird had flown home.
Get out of that window! a voice shouted from below. No leaning out of windows!
Dallas leaned a little farther out and called down to Mr. Trepid. Did you see that silver bird?
Get out of that window, or you're going to join your sister down here pulling weeds, Mr. Trepid threatened.
Dallas spotted his sister, Florida, inching her way along the sidewalk, wrenching clumps of weeds and grass and dirt from the ground.
Putrid weeds, Florida snarled, heaving aclod of dirt over her shoulder.
Dallas watched as the clod landed on Mr. Trepid's back and as the man scuttled over to Florida and whacked her on the head. Dallas wished the silver bird would return and snare Mr. Trepid and carry him high up over the town and then drop him, splat, in the middle...
"An altogether engaging outing." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"This poignant story evokes a feeling as welcoming as fresh-baked bread." Publishers Weekly
"Sugar's voice is convincing, both as storyteller and young writer; her natural good humor shines through what could be a sad story indeed. Quirky supporting characters—both human and dog—add to its appeal. Sugar...will win readers hearts."
"Bauer's trademark humor lightens the serious subject matter, while Sugar's frank honesty will give young readers a glimpse at a situation affecting a growing number of children."
“Sugar's anger, fear, humility, and resolve are portrayed with insight and compassion.”
Praise for Almost Home by Joan Bauer
"Sugar's voice is convincing, both as storyteller and young writer; her natural good humor shines through what could be a sad story indeed. Quirky supporting characters—both human and dog—add to its appeal. Sugar...will win readers hearts." —Kirkus, starred review
"sure to inspire" —Library Media Connection, starred review
"Bauer's trademark humor lightens the serious subject matter, while Sugar's frank honesty will give young readers a glimpse at a situation affecting a growing number of children." —Booklist
“Sugar's anger, fear, humility, and resolve are portrayed with insight and compassion.” —Publishers Weekly
“a memorable novel” —School Library Journal
“Almost Home… skillfully tells the tale of precocious and street-smart Sugar Mae Cole.” —New York Times Book Review
“While Bauer fans will definitely want to get their paws on this one, there's plenty of realism here to draw a wider crowd.” —BCCB
“A touching middle grade novel.”—New York Times Book Review
“Family loyalty, stubbornness and love in a…totally satisfying blend.”—Kirkus Reviews
, starred review
“A thoughtful page-turner”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"You are now entering Ruby Holler, the one and only Ruby Holler! Your lives are never going to be the same—"
"Trouble twins" Dallas and Florida are orphans who have given up believing there is such a thing as a loving home. Tiller and Sairy are an eccentric older couple who live in the beautiful, mysterious Ruby Holler, but theyre restless for one more big adventure. When they invite the twins to join them on their journeys, they first must all stay together in the Holler, and the magic of the place takes over. Two pairs of lives grow closer and are changed forever.
Filled with humor, poignancy, cookies, and treasure maps, Newbery Medal
winner Sharon Creech's delightful book is about a special place where it's never too
late to love or be loved.
As they pulled onto a narrow dirt road, Sairy said, "You are now entering Ruby Holler, the one and only Ruby Holler! Your lives are never going to be the same."
Dallas and Florida have been dubbed the "trouble twins." They have been shuffled between foster families and orphanages all their lives, longing only for a loving place to call home, though mistrustful that one exists for the likes of them.
Tiller and Sairy are an eccentric, older couple whose children are grown and long gone, and they're each restless for one more big adventure while their bodies are still spry enough to paddle a river or climb a mountain.
Ruby Holler is the beautiful, mysterious place that changes all of their lives forever. When Tiller and Sairy invite Dallas and Florida to stay with them and keep them company on their adventures, the magic of the Holler takes over, and the two kids begin to think that maybe, just maybe the old folks aren't so bad....
Filled with humor, poignancy, cookies, and treasure maps, Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech's Ruby Holler is a delightful book about a special place where it's never too late to be loved.
Newbery Honor winner Joan Bauer's new novel will touch your heart
When twelve-year-old Sugar's grandfather dies and her gambling father takes off yet again, Sugar and her mother lose their home in Missouri. They head to Chicago for a fresh start, only to discover that fresh starts aren't so easy to come by for the homeless. Nevertheless, Sugar's mother has taught her to be grateful no matter what, so Sugar does her best. With the help of a rescue dog, Shush; a foster family; a supportive teacher; a love of poetry; and her own grace and good humor, Sugar comes to understand that while she can't control the hand life deals her, she can control how she responds.
When crisis hits, a young girl becomes the only one left to take care of her family
Pride, Nightingale and Baby are the Stars. Orphaned and living with their grandfather, Old Finn, in rural Minnesota, the children, like their grandfather, are wary of outsiders. They believe, as Old Finn taught them, in self-reliance.
But then Old Finn falls seriously ill and is taken to the hospital all the way in Duluth, leaving the children to fend for themselves. Pride, as oldest, assumes the lead. Though she makes mistakes, she keeps them afloat; they even earn money for the bus trip to Duluth. But when they finally see Old Finn, he can't walk or even say his own name, and Pride knows her days of keeping safe the Stars are drawing to a close. Self-reliance can't make Old Finn well again. But maybe, just maybe, a secret from Old Finn's past might make a way for them to stay together after all.
A poignant story about family and love, Sheila O'Connor has delivered another extraordinary and mesmerizing tale.
About the Author
Known for writing with a classic voice and unique style, Sharon Creech is the best-selling author of the Newbery Medal winnerWalk Two Moons
, and the Newbery Honor BookThe Wanderer
. She is also the first American in history to be awarded the CILIP Carnegie Medal forRuby Holler
. Her other works include the novelsLove That Dog
, Absolutely Normal Chaos
, Chasing Redbird
, and Pleasing the Ghost
, and two picture books: A Fine, Fine School
and Fishing in the Air
. These stories are often centered around life, love, and relationships -- especially family relationships. Ms. Creech's first novel for children,Absolutely Normal Chaos
, was based on her own "rowdy and noisy" family. Growing up in a big family in Cleveland, Ohio, helped Ms. Creech learn to tell stories that wouldn't be forgotten in all of the commotion: "I learned to exaggerate and embellish, because if you didn't, your story was drowned out by someone else's more exciting one."
With a knack for storytelling and love of reading, a young Ms. Creech aspired to become a novelist: "To be able to create other worlds, to be able to explore mystery and myth -- I couldn't imagine a better way to live. . .except perhaps to be a teacher, because teachers got to handle books all day long." In college, Ms. Creech took her first writing courses and attended writing workshops. This renewed her enthusiasm for becoming a novelist. Following her studies in college and graduate school, Ms. Creech worked as an editorial assistant before deciding to become a teacher overseas. Now, after spending eighteen years teaching and writing in Europe, she and her husband have returned to the United States to live.