Thirteen-year-old fraternal twins Dallas and Florida have grown up in a terrible orphanage but their lives change forever when an eccentric but sweet older couple invites them each on an adventure, beginning in an almost magical place called Ruby Holler.
Original publication date
I loved this book, it's in my top 2 for sure. It has suspence, excitement, and it is funny!
That is what it makes it interesting!
Themes: Family, Hardships, Perseverance
Dallas and Florida start out in an orphanage run by the hateful Trepids. They have been sent to live with many families throughout their short lives but have always been sent back. That is, until the meet Tiller and Sairy, an old couple who bring them to stay in Ruby Holler. Trust begins to develop between the four and in time the begin to become a family. I did not understand the connection between "Z" and the children. i want to know if he is their dad or not? The book never really develops that plot line except to leave it in the air at the end of the story. I was left wanting to know about that relationship. I do know that the children will be well cared for and have finally found a home. I would use this book as a read aloud and discuss resilience with my kids and how there are rainbows in clouds.
I highly recommend this feel good book. I laughed my way through it and can still hear Florida’s voice ringing in my ears (maggoty, wretched, etc.). Lots of short chapters- and although it looks like a long book, it's a really fast read! I would recommend this story to kids in third grade and up. The characters are memorable and the story is such fun!
However, as much as I tried, I just couldn't quite get into this story or form much attachment to the characters. There were 66 short chapters, most 3 to 4 pages, but several were just 2 pages. The chapters seemed to skip around to different people and places, and this led to a choppy, disjointed story. Florida just did not seem like a real person to me...something seemed off regarding her dialogue. And finally, there were several plot elements that were just left hanging, and not resolved. So all in all, this was somewhat of a disappointing read for me.