Ruby Lu, Brave and True by Lenore Look
It’s often a challenge to find beginning chapter books that are interesting and well-written, but Ruby Lu, Brave and True manages it easily. It’s a teacher’s dream with metaphors appearing on the very first page and following with more figurative language throughout including similes and idiomatic expressions. The chapters are loosely linked stories, which will make comprehension easier for children who are developing the ability to sustain reading for longer periods of time.
Ruby herself is a character. She’s tight with her neighbors, adores her baby brother, except for when she doesn’t, does magic tricks, has a father who is an excellent knitter and of course, borrows her parents car to drive to school. The stories were cute and I would definitely recommend this to young readers.
Age Recommendation: Scholastic lists this as a DRA 30/Level N which puts it on level for third grade readers. It will appeal to some third graders but is actually ideal for first and second graders who are reading above grade level. Ruby is nearly 8 and skews a bit young, so this is more likely to be a win with younger readers.
Sex, Nudity, Dating – None.
Profanity – Ruby’s father lets loose a string of four letter words (but Ruby says they’re ones he learned for scrabble, so maybe not profanity??)
Death, Violence and Gore – None.
Drugs, Alcohol and Smoking – None.
Frightening or Intense Things – A girl gets pneumonia and there’s a mention that she “has one foot in the grave”. She makes a full recovery.