The Center of Everything

The Center of Everything

by Linda Urban
4.5 2

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The Center of Everything by Linda Urban

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: 9780547763835
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 03/05/2013
Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 208
Lexile: 830L (what's this?)
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 10 - 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. She is also the author of Hound Dog True, The Center of Everything, Milo Speck, Accidental Agent, and the chapter book Weekends with Max and His Dad, which received two starred reviews. A former bookseller, she lives in Vermont. Visit Linda online at and on Twitter at @lindaurbanbooks.

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 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 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.”