Synopses & Reviews
"Readers ready to graduate from Judy Moody and Junie B. Jones will find a kindred spirit in Sophie.” —Kirkus Reviews
Sophie Hartley, age ten, does not want to be a teenager like all her other classmates. She vows she'll never be like her older sister, who has tantrums about her hair and almost everything else. No, Sophie likes being who she is right now—helping out at home, doing art projects, and hanging out with her two best friends.
As usual, Sophie faces challenges and challengers with determination. With a typically realistic, humorous take on friendships and family, Sophie takes one step closer to growing up without compromising her sense of self.
VOYA Top Shelf for Middle School Readers 2013 list
"The Center of Everything travels a satisfying, circular path that deliberately echoes the shape of a donut. . . . Wishing has a useful place both in childhood and in this novel; but so, too, does reality, especially when rendered with this kind of sensitivity."
—Meg Wolitzer, The New York Times Book Review "Another gem from one of my favorite authors! Ruby Pepperdine and her wish will work their way into the center of your heart, where theyll remain (along with a yearning for donuts) long after you close the book." —Ingrid Law, author of Savvy, a Newbery Honor Book
"A beautiful, sensitive, thoughtful novel that will make you think and smile and think some more, and fall in love with Linda Urban's books."
—Kathryn Erskine, National Book Award-winner "Every book by Linda Urban makes me laugh, cry, hope, wonder, and fall in love with her writing. With The Center of Everything, she has done it again!" —Barbara OConnor, author of How to Steal a Dog * "Throughout this slim, affecting novel, Urban treats Ruby's bewilderment with care, and gracefully reinforces the value of friends, family, and community."
—Booklist, starred review
"Ruby's large imagination and even bigger heart are beautifully evoked as the sixth grader finds a way to keep the memory of her grandmother alive."
* "A poignant, finely wrought exploration of grief."
—Kirkus, starred review
"By turns thought-provoking, humorous, and poignant, Ruby's story introduces a multi-faceted character well worth meeting."
"Give this to patient readers who enjoy Polly Horvath's The Vacation (2005) and Everything on a Waffle (2001)."
—School Library Journal
* "[Urban] compactly, gently addresses some common aspects of grief: the isolation, the regrets, the bargaining, and the epistemological questions about meaning. . . . This is a terrific first step up for kids who are just beginning to explore more complicated novels."
—Bulletin, starred review
"Spirited Sophie is back for a fourth tale in this highly readable series. . . Those readers ready to graduate from Judy Moody and Junie B. Jones will find a kindred spirit in Sophie."
"In Greene's fourth Sophie Hartley book, the author lightheartedly yet earnestly portrays the shifting dynamics of being on the cusp of middle school. . . . A reliably cute and comfortable read for the younger range of the targeted audience."
"In this wryly amusing, perceptive story, Greene captures the viewpoint of a preteen who, after observing her older siblings in action, is in no hurry to become a teenager. . . . A solid addition to the consistently entertaining Sophie Hartley series."
"In this latest addition to this thoughtful and charming series, Greene paints a convincing picture of the last breath of childhood with sensitivity and humor. . . . Like the early volumes of Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Alice series, this sweet and sincere story will resonate with preteens who accept their future but certainly don't wish to hasten it."
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
True: Delly Pattison likes surpresents (presents that are a surprise). The day the Boyds come to town, Delly's sure a special surpresent is on its way. But lately, everything that she thinks will be good and fun turns into trouble. She's never needed a surpresent more than now.
True: Brud Kinney wants to play basketball like nothing anybody's ever seen. When the Boyds arrive, though, Brud meets someone who plays like nothing he's ever seen.
True: Ferris Boyd isn't like anyone Delly or Brud have ever met. Ferris is a real mysturiosity (an extremely curious mystery).
True: Katherine Hannigan's first novel since her acclaimed Ida B is a compelling look at the ways friendships and truths are discovered.
It's all true ( . . . sort of).
Can friendship save you?
The day Ferris Boyd moves to town, Delly Pattison is sure a special surpresent (a present that is a surprise) is on its way. Instead, Delly ends up in even more trouble than usual.
The Boyds' arrival in River Bluffs means big changes for Brud Kinney, too. He can't believe who he's hanging around with. Ferris Boyd isn't like anyone Delly or Brud have ever known. Ferris is a mystery and a wonder.
Through friendship, though, Delly, Brud, and Ferris discover truths that will change their lives. And bring them the best surpresent of all.
Includes an all-new afterword featuring a short story, photographs by the author, and more
From the author of the acclaimed A CROOKED KIND OF PERFECT and HOUND DOG TRUE comes a middle-grade novel about donuts, a birthday wish, and making things right with the ones you love.
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 Gigis hug. Thats 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 Rubys wish set everything straight in her topsy-turvy world?
In the fourth middle-grade novel about the irrepressible Sophie Hartley, Sophie, 10, doesnt want to turn into a moody teenager like her older brother and sister, and she certainly doesnt want to see The Movie (about gross adolescent body changes) at school. On the other hand, she doesnt want to be considered immature by her classmates. A lively, funny story that touches on a perennially fascinating subject.
About the Author
Katherine Hannigan studied mathematics, painting, and studio art and has worked as the education coordinator for a Head Start program and, most recently, as an assistant professor of art and design. She is the author of True (. . . Sort Of), Emmaline and the Bunny, and the national bestseller Ida B . . . and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World. She lives in Iowa with a bunch of cats and the occasional bunny or bird visitor. Her backyard hosts an additional array of creatures, including deer, raccoons, possums, and sometimes a skunk. But no alligators . . . yet!