Book Title: The Beat of Ruby's StreetI would like to thank the author, Jenna Zark, for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Author: Jenna Zark
Genre: Middle Grade
My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Source: A review copy provided by the author
Amazon UK, Goodreads
Goodreads Summary: The last thing eleven-year-old Ruby Tabeata expected to happen on her way to a Jack Kerouac reading was to be hauled to the police station. It’s 1958 and Ruby is the opposite of a 1950s stereotype: fierce, funny and strong willed, she is only just starting to chart her course in a family of Beat Generation artists in Greenwich Village.
Ruby dreams of meeting famous poets while becoming one herself; instead, she’s accused of trying to steal fruit from a local vendor and is forced to live in a children’s home. As Ruby struggles to return to family and friends, she learns her only choice is to follow her heart. Join Ruby’s journey as she finds unexpected friendships, the courage to rebel against unjust authority and the healing power of art in this inspiring middle-grade novel by Jenna Zark.
What did I think?
This was a read completely out of my comfort zone. I don't often read children's fiction and I'm not particularly interested in the 1950s... but, I ended up falling a bit in love with this one. It's a sweet story told in an unique and charming way.
Ruby grows up as part of the "Beat Generation" and I wasn't at all familiar with this part of American history. I found that aspect of the book particularly interesting and enjoyed learning about the culture through Ruby's eyes.
It is an easy read, told in first person and is definitely geared towards a young reader, and while I think a 9 or 10 year old could easily read this one, I also believe it can be thoroughly enjoyed by adults.
Jenna Zark has a unique writing style and I love how well she captures the voice of a young girl growing up in Greenwich Village during the 50s. Ruby feels real at all times. Ruby also wants to be a poet and her voice is actually very poetic but still feels like the voice of a 12 year old.
The book deals with lots of issues and some of them might be a step above Middle-Grade but Jenna Zark brings those subjects across in a sensitive and heartwarming way that can easily be understood by a young reader.
Visit Jenna Zark's website here to find out more about the author.