RUBY AND LONELY – Patrice Karst – “Friendship and Strength”

A heart-warming experience that encourages independence.

By Patrice Karst ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 12, 2023

Ruby, a young girl with long red hair and pale skin, feels isolated both at school and at home. Everyone around her is so busy that they don’t pay attention to her. Mr. Garcia, her teacher, suggests to the class that it can be helpful to give a name to their problems in order to help solve them. Ruby decides to call her problem “Lonely”. At first, Lonely appears as a reflection of Ruby in a storefront window and later in a mirror, showing her frown and slumped posture. As Ruby shares things she enjoys with her new friend, Lonely starts to gain color and strength, representing Ruby’s own inner self.

As Ruby makes friends, Lonely doesn’t need to be present as much, but is always there in the mirror if needed. The story is told with a nostalgic twinge, allowing Ruby to move through sorrow and also shine brightly. An author’s note explains that the story was inspired by Karst’s own loneliness as a child and discusses the importance of having an “inner friend”. The book ends with discussion questions. This sensitively told narrative encourages children to embrace their inner strength and transform loneliness into something new.

Check on Amazon Check on Walmart Check on Barnes and Noble Check on Powells

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2023
ISBN: 9781662508042

Page Count: 32
Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: June 21, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2023