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Way Down Deep (Way Down Deep #1)

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3.93  ·  Rating details ·  633 Ratings  ·  132 Reviews
Although Ruby seemed to just appear out of thin air on the steps of the courthouse on the first day of summer in 1944, no one in Way Down Deep, West Virginia, ever worried too much about where the toddler came from. They figured that if Ruby's people were dumb enough to lose something as valuable as a child, then that was their problem.

So even though Ruby can't help but wo
...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published March 20th 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Rachael
Jul 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I have enjoyed everything I've read by Ruth White, but this book was the kind you just want to step into and live in. The community White has created is so warm and charming, full of quirky but good people. I would love to find a place in which I fit in so perfectly. It's probably not a coincidence that there are some truly fantastical elements to the story!

I have to applaud White for the lack of actual profanity in the novel, although there is one little kid in the story who has a "potty mouth
...more
Rosie
Feb 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: j-books
3.5 stars
Shannon
May 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A fun read - will for sure be tracking down more by this author!
Tali
May 30, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4th-quarter
One Star.
Arminzerella
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jackie
Sep 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
A waif appears on the steps of the courthouse in the town of Way Down Deep, West Virginia one early summer morning in June, 1944. Only three years old at the most, when asked her name, she says brightly, 'Me Woo-bee'. And, Ruby June she becomes to be known. Miss Arbutus Ward steps forward and cares for her until 'her people are found'. Years pass by and Ruby is loved and well-cared for by Arbutus and the whole village. She is a bright, talkative, lively child with a mass of red curls on her head ...more
84-The_enlightment_of_Doctor_Grace_part5_Jesus
Way Down Deep by Ruth White is about a girl named Ruby June. Ruby showed up in town when she was three and she could only say Woo-bee and hossie. One of the townspeople took her in and raised her. When she turns thirteen, a man tries to rob a bank to get money for his family. Everyone feels sorry for them, so they let them move to town. Bird, the robber's father, sees Ruby and says she was eaten by panthers. His grandson Peter says he is crazy. But June soon relizes she was the girl, only instea ...more
Nihal Kariparduc
Nov 07, 2015 rated it liked it
"Way Down Deep" by Ruth White,is a cool book. There was some parts of the book that was plain ,boring to read. The book is about a girl named Ruby. She is a small girl they found in front of way down deep courthouse in 1940, when she was around 3.After a few years ,how she came into way down deep starts to unravel. Ruth White is an author for some award winning young adult and children's books. Some including the "Belle Praters boy" and "The Search for Bell Prater"

Even though I liked the book ,t
...more
Linda Lipko
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
While I enjoyed previous books written by this author, I was a tad disappointed in this.

Keep track of the many characters presented a problem.

Ruby June resides in a tiny village named Way Down Deep. When a baby, she mysteriously was found on the courthouse steps. Take in by the kind and quirky Miss Alburtus, who runs the local boarding house, we are introduced to a host of down home, kind hearted, quirky folk.

Now, 13, Ruby is happy and is well liked by all members of Way Down Deep. When a new fa
...more
Robyn
Jul 25, 2009 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Jul 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
Way Down Deep is just quirky enough to edge outside the realm of realistic fiction. Ruby is a toddler found outside the courthouse in 1944 and taken in by the owner of a boarding house, Miss Arbutus. Ruby has a rich, full life in Way Down Deep, but she has always been curious about her people. An inept bank robber comes to town and is befriended in his troubles with the townspeople. The robber knows of Ruby and helps lead her back to her roots. But it is not the happy world of Way Down Deep; ins ...more
Jean
Dec 04, 2007 rated it really liked it
This book has an old-fashioned feel to it. It harkens back to a time when people knew their neighbors, helped each other out, and tried to make life pleasant for everyone. Ruby comes to Down Deep as a toddler with a mystery. No one knows where she came from but the whole town welcomes her. But no one welcomes her more than Miss Arbutus Ward, a lonely spinster who runs the boardinghouse. And Ruby grows up happy and loved.

I liked the touch of magical realism here. It gives a book that seems so fi
...more
Amanda
Mar 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
1953 Way Down Deep, West Virginia 12 year old Ruby June lives at The Roost, the town boardinghouse, with Miss Arbutus and the other boarders. Miss Arbutus, the owner of The Roost, has cared for Ruby June since she was three years old after she was found abandoned at the courthouse. When a family facing hard times is invited to move into town, the grandfather of the family insists that a panther ate Ruby when she was little. Could he have her mixed up with someone else or is this a clue to where ...more
Miss Amanda
1953 Way Down Deep, West Virginia 12 year old Ruby June lives at The Roost, the town boardinghouse, with Miss Arbutus and the other boarders. Miss Arbutus, the owner of The Roost, has cared for Ruby June since she was three years old after she was found abandoned at the courthouse. When a family facing hard times is invited to move into town, the grandfather of the family insists that a panther ate Ruby when she was little. Could he have her mixed up with someone else or is this a clue to where ...more
Carol
Nov 22, 2008 added it
Recommends it for: fans of Cynthia Rylant's & Deborah Wiles's novels
A coming of age story set is a small Appalachian town. Enjoyable, but doesn't quite have the depth or dimensionality of Rylant's or Wiles's novels. Ruby was abandoned as a baby and appeared in town one day, to be adopted by Miss Arbutus, the matron of the local boarding house. Both the boarding house and the town are populated with quirky characters, including a rock-throwing granny reminiscent of the old woman in Milagro Beanfield Wars. During the course of the story, Ruby's origins are reveale ...more
Int'l librarian
It's as if Garrison Keillor reinvented Lake Woebegone for a younger audience. That's not the kind of marquee line that's going to reel the middle schoolers in - better to say that "Way Down Deep" is quietly awesome. These aren't so much short stories as small scenes: measured and fun and easy to hold in your head as the next scene unfolds. And then the big story that was always there takes hold.

The emotions rise, and Ruby June grows up just a little bit more. She's a wonderful girl. If anything
...more
Lauren
Jan 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
i just finished this book and it was really good. i did not like how the grandma kept bossy ruby around and calling her jolene. my favorith part of this book was when she was at the reeders house and she relized that the girl bird reeder was talking about could be her and it just keeps unraveling and everything happens so quickly. one thing that i was suprised about was how miss. arbutus took ruby june from her home when everybody thought it was a panther. if you like a mystrery book you shoud r ...more
Megan
Nov 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Cute children's book about a girl, Ruby, who just shows up in a small town in the 1940's. Entertaining characters, who go in and out of Ruby's life--, Mrs. Rife, a 90-year-old who throws rocks at the kids, and Reese, who serenades Ruby with lines such as, "Now if you were a horsefly, and I'm an old grey mare, / I'd stand and let you bite me and never move a hair."
A good story about what makes up a family, and what we owe our family members.
Highly reccomend, children will love it, but probably a
...more
Tricia Joseph
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is entertaining because in the beginning of this book a little girl named,Ruby, showed up on the doorsteps of the courthouse and noone knew where she came from. When she was 12 years old, they were trying to find out who she was so a detective came and took her to her uncle. Her Uncle took her to meet her grandmother. Ruby went in her room and found clues that her mother had written to her father. Ruby's grandmother was bossy to her and would call Ruby every few minutes to do stuff for ...more
Luke
Jan 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Way Down Deep is, well, just ok. Even the most dramatic parts aren't played up as well as they could be- and maybe that's fitting for a small town in Virginia. But there's no real conflict. My biggest problem with the book is how the plot, even though it has a small twist, is easily foreseen 50 pages into the book, and doesn't require the main character's help to actually solve it. Overall, maybe a 65 /100. (i'm giving this thing a separate because this website won't let me leave a more detailed ...more
Barb Keltner
Sep 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jshs-level
I have a new favorite book! This is kind of a jr. version of the feel-good Jan Karon books. It's set in the 1950's and is the story of young Ruby who was found on the court house steps when she was 2 years old and has lived with the wonderfully interesting people at the local boarding house ever since ... until the mystery of her past starts to unravel. LOVED it! This author also wrote "Little Audrey" that I just finished and liked very much, so I'll be working my way through some more of her bo ...more
Judi Paradis
Dec 19, 2009 rated it it was ok
Lots of things in this book don't seem entirely believable, but that's okay. Ruby, age 3, just appears one day in a town in West Virginia and she is taken in by the lady who owns the local boarding house. Ruby grows up surrounded by quirky, loving people and is a delightful kid. But one day a new family moves to town and Ruby figures out where her real family is and how she came to live in Way Down Deep. A pleasant story with great characters.
Tina
Aug 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Ruby June, a toddler, is found outside the courthouse in the town of Way Down Deep and nobody in town can figure out how she got there. Miss Arbutus Ward agrees to raise Ruby with the help of the town. The story is wonderful - Ruby grows up with so many interesting - yet quirky boarders at the Boarding House that Miss Arbutus Ward owns. The ending was a little unusual in the fact that a book that I believe was going to be Historical Fiction, suddenly turns into a Fantasy.
Tracie
Dec 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Lovely story about a town full of quirky folk who take in a toddler that appears in their midst seemly from nowhere. Ruby is loved and well cared for by Miss Arbutus until a new family moves to town and brings news of Ruby's possible origins. Not as odd as Oddfellows Orphanage or as straightforward as the Penderwicks, still a wonderful tale about the power of love, positivity and self-confidence.
Haley
May 13, 2008 rated it liked it
Texas Bluebonnet for the 2008-2009 school year. Everyone has wondered about the mysterious way Ruby showed up in the town of Way Down Deep when she was 3 years old in 1944. She is taken in by Miss Arbutus, the proprieter of the local boardinghouse, and loves her life. When a new family moves in town 9 years later, more details of her past are revealed, and soon Ruby leaves the town she loves to discover who she is and where she came from.
Sharon
This was probably my least favorite of the books I read for our mock Newbery discussion at the Chicago Public Library. The story of the town of Way Deep, whose citizens can't even spurn a bank robber, is sweet to the point of eating sugar, even if it is a tall tale. I liked some of the quirky citizens, but not enough to truly care for them, and the mystical elements White introduces toward the end seem a little half-baked.
Emily
Jan 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a cute story about a little girl who shows up in Way Down Deep, WV and is raised by a local there. The story is a bit far fetched in the end, but I guess it contributes to the magic of the town of Way Down Deep, but I would have liked a more nonsensical resolution to the issue of way this girl came from.

Overall a great story which I would recommend to upper grade girls.

This is nominated for a 2009 Beehive award.
Alice Teets
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent story about family and what exactly makes someone your family. The author is reminiscent of books from my childhood, and, although written for children, it was an enjoyable story for adults.

Bonus: I am from West Virginia, and I HATE it when people try to "write" our accent. When we speak, we don't hear it, so we don't want to read it either, especially in a demeaning way. She didn't attempt this, and that made me like the book even more.
Kellie
I enjoyed this story. The author captured the feel of a quaint little town in the late '40s and early '50s. The characters were fun and quirky and interesting. My only gripe was that I was hoping for a more "realistic" reason of how Ruby June came to be in Way Down Deep. The whole dream thing was a bit out there for my taste (for this story) and it was a bit odd how everyone in the town just accepted it.
N
Mar 10, 2008 rated it liked it
I sometimes joke that there's an orphan in every children's book. Maybe I'm exaggerating, but it's at least 1 out of 3.

Redheaded Ruby was abandoned as a toddler on the steps of the Way Down Deep Courthouse. Luckily she was taken in and loved by the local spinster. Things go pretty smoothly until one day the mystery of how she came to town starts to unravel.
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I was born in the Appalachian hills of Virginia, which is the setting for Belle Prater's Boy and The Search for Belle Prater. I lived there until I graduated from high school and went away to college. Though I left the hills, they never left me. My memories of those years are quite vivid. I have always referred to that time as both traumatic and wonderful. I get most of my ideas for my stories fro ...more
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