A finely-crafted debut novel, tinged with sadness but balanced with hope and joy. This story absolutely inspired me to be brave and speak up. I enjoyed the characters I met along the way: Abigail, Ahmad, Mom, and Mr. Andrews, but especially Ruby and Bob Van Doodle (her dog!). A definite read for fans of realistic fiction. And with this kind of writing finesse, I imagine there is much more to look forward to from Ferruolo.— Susan
Twelve-year-old Ruby Moon Hayes does not want her new classmates to ask about her father. She does not want them to know her mother has been arrested. And she definitely does not want to make any friends. Ruby just wants to stay as silent and invisible as a new moon in the frozen sky. She and her mother won’t be staying long in Vermont anyway, and then things can go back to the way they were before everything went wrong.
But keeping to herself isn’t easy when Ahmad Saleem, a Syrian refugee, decides he’s her new best friend. Or when she meets “the Bird Lady,” a recluse named Abigail who lives in a ramshackle shed near Ruby’s house. Before long Ahmad and Abigail have become Ruby’s friends—and she realizes there is more to their stories than everyone knows.
As ugly rumors begin to swirl around the people Ruby loves, she must make a choice: break her silence, or risk losing everything that’s come to mean so much to her. Ruby in the Sky is a story of the walls we hide behind, and the magic that can happen when we’re brave enough to break free.
“The stories of the main characters intertwine beautifully, each one demonstrating the self-trust that enables them to do the right thing and to forgive. Writing in Ruby's voice, Ferruolo creates an engaging plot peopled with complex characters that gracefully navigate many issues of our time, including women's rights, immigration, prejudice and diversity, and bullying.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Ferruolo’s debut has a quietly magical feel, aided by passages describing Ruby’s fascination with the moon. The faraway moon serves as a poignant theme throughout the book and connects satisfyingly to Abigail’s backstory. The story also skillfully depicts everyday injustices and how those in power control the narrative unless ordinary people stand up against them. Ferruolo includes many examples of these brave, ordinary people. . .A quiet yet powerful story about courage.” —Booklist, starred review