The Center of Everything

Linda Urban, Author
Linda Urban. Harcourt, $15.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-547-76348-4
Reviewed on: 01/07/2013
Release date: 03/01/2013
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-0-547-76383-5
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-544-34069-5
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-90203-9
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The poignancy that characterized Urban’s A Crooked Kind of Perfect and Hound Dog True is also present in this novel about wishes and regret. Months after her grandmother’s death, 12-year-old Ruby Pepperdine composes a winning essay honoring her New Hampshire town’s namesake: Capt. Cornelius Bunning, inventor of the doughnut. Ruby should be ecstatic that she gets to read her essay in front of the whole community on Bunning Day, but her mind is on other things, especially how she didn’t listen to her grandmother’s final words before she died. Ruby thinks that maybe if she wishes hard enough, “everything will be back to how it is supposed to be,” but making a wish the right way is a tricky business. In a story whose winding plot echoes the doughnut shape that fascinates Ruby, Urban traces how Ruby discovers connections among dissimilar phenomena, including the nature of relativity, everyday sounds, and being part of a community. 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. Ages 9–12. (Mar.)
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