The Center of Everything

3 CDs. 3 hrs. Recorded Books. 2014. $30.75. ISBN 9781490601960. digital download.
Gr 3–6—Ruby Pepperdine's best friend, Lucy, has accused her of creating a rift in their friendship, and then there's Nero DeNiro, who is causing strange new feelings in her that she doesn't really understand. Ruby finds herself wondering how she let these things happen while she waits for the Bunning Day parade to get underway. As she observes various individuals in the parade and prepares to give her winning essay on Bunning Day, she wonders how she can make everything right with her friends and family. The author delves into the chaotic world of a 12-year-old girl who is dealing with serious issues. The book is both heartwarming and humorous, and narrator Suzy Jackson does an excellent performance of Ruby as well as the various casts of family and friends. It is easy to picture the various characters. This is not a title one would recommend to reluctant readers, but it is one that faces real-life situations head-on, and offers an honest depiction of grief.—Sheila Acosta, San Antonio Public Library

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