Winner of the UK's 2003 Carnegie Medal
The Barnes & Noble Review
From Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech comes a heartwarming tale about second chances, unconditional love, and the true meaning of family. With wry humor, a quirky cast of characters, and a setting that is as magical as it is beautiful, Creech examines what happens when two pairs of very different people come together to form a family.
Ruby Holler is the name of a wondrous place that an older couple named Tiller and Sairy call home. However, "home" for Dallas and Florida, twin orphans who are known for their troublemaking tendencies, is the nearby Boxton Creek Home, a place run by a crusty couple with a very long list of stringent rules. The twins have managed to leave the orphanage a few times when foster families have taken them in, but things never seem to work out, and they always get sent back. With each return, their lives become more restricted and their hopes for a successful adoption dim.
They have no reason to think that things will be any different when Tiller and Sairy adopt them and take them to their home in the Holler. In fact, things might well be worse, since Sairy and Tiller are planning separate vacations, each of them intending to take a twin along. The only thing Florida and Dallas feel they can truly depend upon is each other, and at the thought of being separated -- even for a short while -- they panic and make plans to run away from their newfound home. But their plans get changed when they begin to realize that Sairy and Tiller aren't like all the other adults they've known.
Creech enriches her story with hidden treasures, discovered secrets, and several adventures. Her characters are likable though flawed, and their ever-changing emotions are subtly -- and often humorously -- conveyed. But as the story unfolds, it soon becomes clear that the most important element of all is the magic that's afoot in Ruby Holler -- a wondrous and powerful magic called love. (Beth Amos)
Read an Excerpt
The 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 a clod 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... Ruby Holler. Copyright © by Sharon Creech. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.