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Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers' Favorite
An imaginative, fairy tale-like story, Ruby Lane by RJ Simon is an exciting and enchanting tale for children. Young Ruby lets her imagination take her to faraway and interesting places while leaving her day-to-day responsibilities behind. Her room is a mess and her cat, Catty, is moody, but the promise of a trip to her grandmother’s house out on an island has Ruby ready to take the proper action.
On the way to the island on a glass-bottom boat, Ruby falls asleep. Upon arriving at the island, Ruby realizes that things are not quite right – it looks like Raintree Forest Island but is actually the Island of Peels – and she is met by a talking cat dressed in a pirate’s costume. A magic book seems to be not working properly so Ruby and Pirate go in search of the Great Poet Gerry to return it to him. Meeting interesting people, riding horses on the sea and other adventures await Ruby and Pirate as they cross the island to find Gerry. Will the Great Poet Gerry be able to help Ruby use the book correctly so she can get to where she belongs?
RJ Simon has created an engaging and thoroughly enjoyable story for children that employs plenty of word play and hints at fairy tales and other childhood writing. It is a fabulous celebration of the power of the imagination, with the gentle cautionary note about taking care of business at the same time. This is certainly a must-read story that could be read aloud to younger children or read individually by everyone else. Ruby Lane could very easily become a classic as a beloved favorite tale. Absolutely delightful. I hope there is more to come!