Monday, August 20, 2007

Ruby Lu, Brave and True

I gifted Ruby Lu, Brave and True to my six-year-old niece last week. Fortunately, since I gifted to a family member, I was able to give it and then take it back to read.

Eight-year-old Ruby Lu is a delightful character and Lenore Look is an excellent writer. The story is fun, fast-paced, and very funny.

As an adult, I love this book. The characters have charming quirks: Ruby performs magic shows and wears a cape, her father knits sweaters for the entire neighborhood, and her neighbor slathers on sun block everywhere she goes.

In my favorite vignette, Ruby decides she is old enough, and capable enough, to drive a car. She creates a driver’s license, packs up her baby brother, and takes him to Chinese School. Oh my.

With this in mind, I have to wonder whether a responsible adult should let a child read this book. My niece cut her hair after reading a Junie B. Jones book. I can just imagine her trying to drive the car. As enjoyable as the book is, it just might be a manual for disaster in a child’s hands.

I also wonder how enjoyable the book would be for children. In many ways, I feel like it was written for adults, and I question if a child could enjoy the same things I do.

I guess the only way to find out is to read it to my niece.

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