Ruby Lane: RJ Simon (author), The Word Verve, 2017
Ruby is overexcited again, and her brain is spinning creative ideas so fast it feels like her head could explode! Luckily, it’s school holidays, so she’s allowed to stay up late, reading adventure stories and playing dress-ups with her cat. But when things get out of control, Ruby decides that helping a crazy pirate cat return a malfunctioning book to its rightful owner is the only logical solution…
Fun, fantasy and frivolity – RJ Simon’s middle grade novel, Ruby Lane, is a quirky tale that wastes no time drawing readers in.
Protagonist, Ruby, is instantly relatable in her incessant need to be entertained, even when it’s time for bed! Like many children (and adults!), Ruby has an overactive mind and struggles to find sleep. Having been distracted from cleaning her room (far too boring) earlier in the afternoon, Ruby decides to get the job done instead of turning in for the night.
The following morning, Ruby is exhausted, but more than a little excited to be heading off to visit her beloved grandma for the week.
Ruby falls asleep on the way and when she wakes, decides to go for a walk where she spots a familiar looking cat. As it gets closer, Ruby is shocked to find the cat dressed like a pirate and carrying a book. Things take an even more peculiar turn when the cat begins to talk – in pirate lingo no less!
Following a hilarious introduction, the pirate cat convinces Ruby to help him on his mission to return the book, which happens to be magic, to its rightful owner, the Great Poet Gerry.
What comes next is a series of humourous misadventures, colourful characters and strange encounters, as Ruby attempts to help Pirate on his quest.
Reminiscent of classics such as Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz and The Magic Faraway Tree, Ruby Lane is a page-turner which will keep readers enthralled by the unusual storyline and unexpected scenes.
Exciting and fast-paced, readers are introduced to numerous mystical characters, such as the smart-talking Tree of Reason, the unexpected Seahorsies and a tiny t-rex.
I loved that there were also a couple of familiar characters throughout, such as the three little pigs and – one for the adults – the Grim Teacher.
RJ Simon brings her quirky characters to life not only through wonderful descriptions, but through her clever use of language and dialogue, which lifts them right off the page.
You can practically hear their voices.
A wonderfully bizarre adventure – I could imagine this story on the big (or small) screen.
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