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*Starred Review* After opening with a tall (and rather round) tale about the stormy origins of the doughnut, Urban's latest middle-grade novel zeros in on a grieving 12-year-old girl in a New Hampshire town founded by doughnut inventor Captain Bunning in 1847. As part of the annual Bunning Day parade, Ruby Pepperdine waits to give a speech to honor the captain. And this wait stretches for almost the entire book, for Urban has deftly structured Ruby's story as a series of flashbacks. While the parade proceeds and Ruby shuffles through her index cards, which have fallen out of order, her memories of recent and disquieting incidents come forward. As with some of Sharon Creech's novels, the reasons behind the protagonist's grief and confusion are revealed gradually. Urban also conveys the way mourning can alter one's sense of time and normalcy. Ruby's grandmother has died, and it soon becomes apparent that their last exchange was deeply upsetting to Ruby. She hopes to somehow remedy that with a wish she has earned through a town tradition the tossing of a quarter through the bronze doughnut held aloft by the town's Captain Bunning statue. Throughout this slim, affecting novel, Urban treats Ruby's bewilderment with care and gracefully reinforces the value of friends, family, and community.--Nolan, Abby Copyright 2010 Booklist
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Gr 4-6-From the time she was in preschool, Ruby Pepperdine has been good at figuring out what she was supposed to do. When her grandmother passes away without Ruby having a chance to listen to what Gigi tried to tell her the morning she died, Ruby knows what she needs to do. Everyone in town knows that if you find a quarter from the year of your birth, repeat your wish 90 times, then on your birthday toss the quarter through the hole of the doughnut held aloft by the statue of the town's founder, your wish will come true. Quarter in hand, Ruby completes the ritual. Will the wish come true? Ruby worries that there is something else she is supposed to do to help it along. In fact, she focuses so hard on her wish that she begins to lose sight of everything (and everyone) around her. Ruby's story flashes back and forth between what should be her wish-fulfillment day and the events leading up to it. As the day draws near, it's clear that she stands to lose more than just the chance to right a wrong with her grandmother. The story is sweet, but a bit slow on the lead-up to Ruby's big day. Give this to patient readers who enjoy Polly Horvath's The Vacation (2005) and Everything on a Waffle (2001) or Ruth White's Way Down Deep (2007) and Belle Prater's Boy (1996, all Farrar).-Kelly Roth, Bartow County Public Library, Cartersville, GA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.