Ideas for Learners Promoting Literacy, Inquiry, and Meaningful Learning Experiences

Ruby On the Outside by Nora Raleigh Baskin


Book Summary

It's so important for books like this to exist, as it opens the eyes of readers who have never thought about this situation, and gives a voice to those who are in (or know someone in) this situation. This book has the potential to expand readers' thinking about families and how they work. However, Ruby doesn't have any particularly memorable character traits - she is defined by her living situation, rather than her personality. It's an understandably serious book, but humor would help lighten this story in places where the resentment blended with sadness get too intense.

Ruby on the Outside book cover
Ruby on the Outside

Book Review

Ruby's mother is in prison, and nothing about that is easy. The visits to see her mother are difficult, but also too infrequent. Ruby never feels like she can tell anyone the truth about her mom, but the dishonesty isn't easy. Can she find a friend she can trust with the truth?

Topics and Themes for this book:

  • Absent Parent
  • Family members in Jail
  • Trust and Friendship
  • Honesty
  • How Choices Affect Others

Discussion Questions for this book:

The best discussion questions, of course, are generated by and contemplated by readers. These questions are designed to avoid major spoilers about the book, and to provide a starting point for teachers, parents, and student reading groups.

**Questions Coming Soon**

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