Finding Ruby Starling by Karen Rivers

When twelve-year-old Ruth Quayle uses a face-recognition app to search for images of herself online, she finds plenty of photos of herself, as she expected. Then she stumbles across a couple images of a complete stranger—yet one that resembles Ruth almost identically. Ruth soon comes to the conclusion that the stranger, Ruby, is her identical twin!

Ruth and Ruby communicate over the Internet, learning more about each other, themselves, and their families. They share many differences and similarities—Ruth is an extroverted American adoptee, while Ruby is a shy English girl living with her single mother.

Yet both carry lives bursting with family, friends, and blooming romances. Together, Ruth and Ruby investigate the truth about their birth and separation, all the while balancing their busy lives and learning how to navigate them.

Ruth and Ruby’s story turned out to be one of my favorites! Throughout the massively complicated shift in Ruth s and Ruby s lives, they are still only twelve-year-olds learning to deal with the small changes in their lives that come with growing up.

I absolutely loved that this novel was written only in emails, handwritten letters, Tumblr entries, and film scripts. The way the characters wrote their emails and letters really helped embody their personalities, and this format was such a unique, inventive, and expressive way to write a novel.

Finding Ruby Starling by Karen Rivers is a creatively crafted story of family, friendship, and love. I truly enjoyed it so much, and I found myself rereading certain scenes over and over after I had finished the book. I’d definitely recommend Finding Ruby Starling! Happy reading!

-Lam T.

Finding Ruby Starling by Karen Rivers is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.

Silas Marner by George Eliot

Silas Marner is a book by George Eliot about an outcast who finds redemption in a child. The story is simple yet beautiful, showing the depth of human kindness.

Silas, the protagonist, grows up in a small, church-centered town. He is a respected, virtuous citizen. However, one day, he is framed by a close friend for embezzlement and is cast out of the town. His trust in humanity bruised, he settles on the outskirts of Raveloe, a rural but prosperous village.

Years pass, and the quiet, reclusive weaver makes no effort to assimilate with the villagers. Hoarding gold, he saves up a good amount of money. Suddenly, tragedy strikes. A mysterious thief steals all of Silas’ accumulated earnings. Silas, distraught, mourns the loss of his fortune.

One day, a lost child wanders into Silas’ lonely cottage. He takes the child in and raises her as his own. Through her presence, Silas reconnects with humanity and becomes an upstanding member of society once again.

All in all, this book is a nice, quick read with a simple but entrancing plot. Hope you enjoy it!

-Joshua M, 7th grade

Silas Marner by George Eliot is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.