The Center of Everything

The Center of Everything

by Linda Urban


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Spring 2013 Kids' Indie Next List

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 Gigi’s hug.  That’s 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 Ruby’s wish set everything straight in her topsy-turvy world?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547763484
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 03/05/2013
Pages: 197
Sales rank: 1,284,576
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile: 830L (what's this?)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Linda Urban ’s debut novel, A Crooked Kind of Perfect, was selected for many best books lists and was nominated for twenty state awards. Her novel Hound Dog True received four starred reviews and was named a Kirkus Best Book of 2011. A former bookseller, she lives in Montpelier, Vermont, with her family.Visit her website at

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Another gem from one of my favorite authors! Ruby Pepperdine and her wish will work their way into the center of your heart, where they’ll 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 O’Connor, 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."
Publishers Weekly

Customer Reviews

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The Center of Everything 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The center of everything is such a good book in which- can't spoil anything! JUST READ IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
HawkeyesJMG More than 1 year ago
As a retired third grade teacher, I am still on the lookout for children’s books to share with students at my local elementary school. Linda Urban’s The Center of Everything is recommended for kids in grades 4 through 7, which I feel is on target. The book is dealing with the main character, Ruby, on a grief journey due to losing her grandmother, Gigi. Although there are several negatives brought up by other reviewers, I feel that all mentioned would be topics of discussion for parents and their children. Ruby’s processing her feelings shows the reader that even when terrible things happen, people don’t always share their feelings with those that are closest to them. It is only at the end of the book that Ruby discovers that her father is missing Gigi, also…but he had appeared to be “normal” after her death. This is a complicated subject…but it is interesting to see how Ruby handles it. A number of reviewers didn’t like her best friend, Lucy…but in fact, there are people just like her in the world, and I’m guessing they each have a friend. I enjoyed the way that Linda Urban shared Ruby’s thoughts with her readers. I think preteens would be able to relate to many of her thoughts. Even though Lucy could come across in a cruel manner, I felt that one of her responses to Ruby just might make us think before we speak to others when hit in the face with something that hurts. Here is the quote from the book that will stick with me: “This is not a stupid pebble, Ruby Pepperdine! This is a meteor! You have hurled an enormous meteor into the lake of our friendship. You’ve caused a tsunami!” Just one more reminder to “think before you speak.”
Anonymous 8 months ago
I Love This book LOL LOL LOL !!!!!!!!!!!!!! # EVERY BODY SHOULD READ THIS BOOK ITS AWSOME!!!!!!!! Love you!!! Twinkle star loves yall # Im about to go to the mall so toodles love yall!!
LEXI PIRK More than 1 year ago
The author's intended audience I would say is anyone from age 16-20. My book is about a girl named Ruby that's very brave and a smart thinker in life. Her best friend is Lucy who is kinda crazy and isn't very organized so thats why Ruby is her best friend to be a role model for her. This book is trying to teach many little lessons in life and about destiny and how it applies to people and their lives. Ruby has a grandmother named Gigi and died because of cancer and after that happens Ruby has a wish and makes that wish. To find out her wish check the book out. The character development was easy for me to understand. Some characters were difficult to understand but Ruby and Lucy were easy to understand. The setting was there school, Ruby's or Lucy's house. My point of view on the book is that it's it was a good book and kept my attention. Some things were confusing but I figured it out at the end. There was no conflict that I really could find only when Ruby Grandma passed away it really affected Ruby and her family which had some arguments. I think the author did a great job with the book. There was a lot of stories in the book that can help you with life choices you want to make. I really enjoyed the book and I got a lot of life lessons out of the book. I would rate my book 3 stars.