Title: The Beat on Ruby’s Street
Author: Jenna Zark
Genre: Historical Fiction; Middle Grade
Published: 1 June 2016
Publisher: Dragon Moon Press
Disclaimer: I got the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review which surely will not affect my opinion in any ways.
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.
“Everything is there for a reason, right? If you mess with it like that, you’re not following the flow of the universe. It’s like trying to float upstream.”
I admit the story have a good flow; from the beginning until the ending. But I can’t help feeling disappointed of the small setting problems throughout this book. There are some tiny holes of the plot in this story. Sometimes, the going is good but then, there feels like something is missing. There are little parts that are not there which actually will be good if it were there, and just to help add up with everything in this story. I hope there’s more to the story than it already is.
The book is based on Ruby’s point of view and I get to know much more of herself throughout the story. I like how the author simply tells the background of every Ruby’s interests and things. It’s not dragging or the too-much-detail-y kind of way but it’s much more to introducing to the readers. I don’t have an objection for this part because I like the author’s writing style.
Ruby loves poetry and carry her notebook around so when words start to play in her mind, she will write it down on the notebook. Even though Ruby doesn’t go to the real school, she is pretty good with poetry. While she was caught up in the multiple problems, I can see that she is such a strong-headed and when she wants to do it, she will do it.
Sophie is Ruby’s best friend, the supportive and funny person. I admit I didn’t like her at first. Not because it’s entirely from her. It’s just, the scene of where she first appeared didn’t really amazed me with the chemistry between her and Ruby. I feel like she’s more like a friendly person where you meet at street asking how you’re doing… But after that, I got to know her better especially after everything was settled. She really is a funny person.
Nell-Mom is Ruby’s mother. I don’t know what’s wrong with this character or what actually she had been through but she is sort of a messed up parent. I hate how she didn’t really care about Ruby. Maybe the book is short to explain the whole parenting thing but from what it is, it doesn’t feel right or seem right. Nell-Mom doesn’t really care about it; not until Ruby is taken away. And his father…. he’s always on the road for his gigs. What?
Mrs. Levitt is the social worker who is responsible to take care of Ruby’s incident of stealing and taking her to children’s home. Maybe she’s a nosy person, but she actually cares about Ruby; whether her parents are taking good care of her, if she’s eating well (considering the stealing incident) or if she goes to school. I am actually glad that she gets her nose in Ruby’s life and how she wants the best for Ruby.
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