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Ruby Lee and Me

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  710 ratings  ·  141 reviews
When a segregated North Carolina town gets its first black teacher, two girls--one black, one white--come face-to-face with how prejudice affects their friendship.

Everything's changing for Sarah Beth Willis. After Robin's tragic accident, everyone seems different somehow. Days on the farm aren't the same, and the simple fun of riding a bike or playing outside can be scary
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published January 5th 2016 by Scholastic Press
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Sarah Beth Willis carries the crushing weight of guilt and grief after her six-year-old sister is struck by an automobile while Sarah was tasked with looking after her. This, being the books opening. From that point forward, Sarah struggles with the many changes that occur in the wake of the not-so-accident, self-blaming, accident. Family dynamics shift, roles reversals, living environ upheavals: even Sarah's stalwart friendship with Ruby ends up on shaky ground. The carefree days of summer are ...more
This book! It made me want to bang my head against the wall. First, it's a very sweet book about a preteen, Sarah Beth, and her family. As mentioned in the blurb, Sarah Beth's sister has a tragic accident. The majority of the book deals with SB's guilt and emotions about the accident and how the family copes with it all. There are some major life changes here for SB and her family and I feel as if Hitchcock would have had a perfectly lovely early middle grade novel if she had stopped here. The integr ...more
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I bought and read this entire chapter book TODAY as my birthday present for myself. These days I read as a writer and I loved the book from the very first line,"It was a perfectly ordinary day, until it wasn't." Hooked me right away. I admire the interweaving of plots and subplots, Sarah's guilty over her sister Robin's accident, and Ruby Lee and Sarah's rift in a life-long friendship. Set in the late 60s during integration, the story resonates for me personally as this was my timeline in grade ...more
Aimee Rogers

It is the summer before 6th grade when Sarah Beth Willis’ life changes completely. She is supposed to be watching her little sister, Robin, but has her nose buried in a book instead when Robin is hit by a car. Robin is rushed to the hospital where it is determined that her injuries are life threatening. Sarah Beth stays with her beloved grandparents while her parents stay with Robin in the hospital. Robin eventually leaves the hospital
Aug 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is bursting with sweetness.

I dripped all over the pages a few times as Sarah dealt with so many important issues from segregation to friendship to guilt to financial concerns and just growing number up.

Mostly, this book begins with a lesson about how life isn't fair and it builds though a rollercoaster of other atrocities in life and forces Sarah to decide, for herself, what's right and wrong.
Shannon Hitchcock
Jan 01, 2016 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Your book is like your baby--if you don't love it, nobody else will. If you're a reader who has only read an ARC, I hope you'll have a chance to see the family photos in the back of the final book. There are pictures of my grandparents, their farm, Robin and her pony, and the real-life teacher who inspired RUBY LEE & ME.
May 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was really sweet, and I adore Sarah Beth and her determination to make things right. Based on the description and title, I thought there would be more focus on the integration aspect of the story, but honestly Sarah Beth's friendship with Ruby Lee is almost more of a side story. The real story is about family tragedy, the resulting changes, and how Sarah Beth deals with those elements. Don't get me wrong--it didn't make me like the story any less--it just wasn't what I was expecting.
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I thought that the book was the best book that i ever read, the characters went through bad times and good times but it all came out to be just right. The characters were credible they were interesting and Brave, but they did encounter some problems. Robin got hit with a car and Sarah blamed herself. My favorite character was Sarah, she was brave and strong. her family went through tough times,just like my family just not in the same situation. My favorite part of the book was when Sarah tried t ...more
Ms. Yingling
Sep 16, 2015 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

When Sarah's younger sister is hit by a car when Sarah is reading a library book instead of watching her, Robin ends up in the hospital, and Sarah feels guilty. It doesn't help that her family, hard hit by the hospital bills, moves from their small Southern town out to the country to be near grandparents. Sarah loves being in the country but misses her room, and is worried about starting a new school. Her friend Ruby Lee will also attend the sch
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: novel-quest-list
Ruby Lee & Me by Shannon Hitchcock is supposed to be a story about school integration, an African American teacher being added to the school and the friendship between Sarah and Ruby Lee. Instead, this book takes place mostly in the summer before the integration starts with the focus being on the accident that injured Sarah's sister, Robin, and Sarah's feelings about it and actions around it with a little bit of the friendship thrown in. The author drew heavily upon her life experience to wr ...more
Kay Zin
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It was the right book at the right time. The experience that Sarah was going with Ruby was exactly what I was going through. The ending was great, too! I picked it up because I left my IR book at home, and I couldn't set it down.

It was no coincidence that I got a hold of this book when I did. I sincerely believe God led me toward this book on purpose because I needed it's message. And that message was beautiful.
Leigh Anne
I enjoyed the different story lines in this book, but I think I would have liked it better if they were separate so each one could be developed more. I had a hard time feeling like I was in this time period. This would be a good starting point for reading about civil rights for 3rd or 4th graders. The first sentence, "It was a perfectly ordinary day, until it wasn't." is great mentor sentence for beginnings!
Vicki Cose
Jul 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Segregation, friendship and family interweave
this dynamic story
***This book is a nominee for the 2017-18 Golden Sowers Chapter Book list.***

Sarah Beth Willis is having the worst summer of her life. Her younger sister was hit by a car and Sarah is convinced its her fault. She was the one who was supposed to be watching Robin and now they don't know if Robin will make it, let alone ever walk or jump or play again. Besides that, this is the last summer before Sarah has to start at a new school, and this is the first year the colored children will b
Nyapot Hogan
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Culture/Ethnic Setting comparison Alternative book report

Ruby Lee and Me is a great read! The culture and ethnic setting in this book are different compared to my life today. This book takes place in the South back in 1969 where extreme racism existed amongst black and white people. In the book are two best friends Sarah Beth (white) and Ruby Lee (black), both staying with their grandparents at a farm, they would often hang out and talk. Sarah Beth has been going through a difficult
Dani Kraft
Alternative Book Report (Letter to the President)

Dear President Donald Trump,

Hello! My name is Dani Kraft. I am read the book called Ruby Lee and Me by Shannon Hitchcock. I had to read this book for my children’s literature class. This book is set in the 1960’s and covers the topic of segregation. One little girl named Sarah has had a very tough summer. Her sister got hit by a car and was in terrible condition. Her parents have been gone at the hospital for a few months now and she is stuck li
Wendi Lee
I felt this book suffers from having too much going on at one time. Really, any of the issues happening here could happily fill a book on its own - school desegregation in the South, a car accident, a new home and school. I felt rushed between one subject and the next. I thought the friendship between Ruby and Sarah would be the center of this book, but instead it seems more like an afterthought.

More uncomfortably, I felt that a lot of the characters’ responses to institutionalized racism were
Kristin Nelson
Jun 09, 2017 rated it liked it
To me this book is about Sarah. Sarah and all the changes going on in her life. Her friendship with Ruby and the integration of her school are part of those changes, but it's not the focus of the book.

The book is billed as a civil rights story...("When a segregated North Carolina town gets its first black teacher, two girls--one black, one white--come face-to-face with how prejudice affects their friendship...In a world filled with uncertainty, one very special teacher shows her young students
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Definitely one of the best I have every read!
Sep 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dv, childrens, historical
This book had its heart in the right place, and it wasn't necessarily a bad book, but I'm only giving it two stars because even though I was trying hard, I just couldn't connect with it. I'm not sure if that's me and my mood right now, or the very simple writing (which can sometimes be effective, but in this case didn't move me) or a combination of the two. I'm not sure what's going on with the cover, because I don't remember the girls every swinging like that, and the scene doesn't really expre ...more
Jul 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
Set in the south in the 1960’s, RUBY LEE & ME captures a time when being friends was complicated when the color of your skin didn’t match. Sarah Beth and Ruby struggle to understand this and they watch their grandmothers do the same. Being friends should be easy, shouldn’t it? It was a question I kept asking myself too.

A book about confusion and guilt, about bravery and forgiveness, RUBY LEE & ME offers valuable perspective for any classroom and any family looking to better understand d
Sarah Sammis
Dec 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Ruby Lee and Me by Shannon Hitchcock is a based on actual events. Sarah Beth loves to read and was happily absorbed in her book when her younger sister is hit by a car. Robin's hospitalization and rehabilitation throws Sarah's family and life into chaos.

The afterword includes photographs from the author's childhood of the people and places that inspired the book.
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I definitely recommend reading this book, it is my favorite book! it is so interesting,sad and exciting! It is a really sad book at points for example, robin gets hit by a car. And as to go in an ambulance. i recommend this to anyone and everyone its a great book.
Feb 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'd give this book 4 1/2 stars, I loved it from the first page.
Anna Dart
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Choice book 1 quarter 2

Ruby lee and me is a historical fiction book written by Shannon Hitchcock

Ruby lee and me takes place at the hospital, grandmas and grandpas farm in North Carolina in a neighborhood called shady creek.

The main characters in the book ruby lee and me are Sarah, granny, robin, and ruby lee. There are many more, but these are the most important.

Sarah is a 12-year-old girl and an outgoing, loving, caring, smart, happy sister until the car accident were
Laney Ricker
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever been friends with someone you weren't suppose to be friends with? Well, Sarah Beth, the main character, had a best friend that was African American and not many people liked that. Having a terrible accident, moving schools, and trying to learn about freedom riders all at the same time is difficult for a 12-year-old girl.

Sarah learned the hard way how important her sibling was when her sister, Robin, unfortunately, got hit by a car. She was rushed to the emergency room.
Mariela Berrocal
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: great-books
I enjoyed reading this interesting book! In the summer of 1969, Sarah, a twelve year old white girl who lived in a rural community, feels very guilty about her six-year-old sister, Robin 's car accident. Sarah was babysitting her but was busy reading a book while the incident happenned.
Sarah later on meets Ruby, an African American girl, and realized that she has been sheltered from racism and feels guilty that what Ruby has been going through in her life because of her race. Although Sarah pro
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ruby Lee and Me by Shannon Hitchcock was a really great book concerning segregation and integration. It was a simple but fun book, with enjoyable characters and a good message. My favorite character was probably Ruby Lee, as she stood up for what she thought was right and was a good friend to Sarah. My favorite quote was " 'Every sorrow is different, but you get through 'em the same way. Plenty of rest, good food, and keeping your family and friends close by.' She paused a minute. 'A lot of pray ...more
Katherine Pace
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-lit
I adore this book! It takes place in Shady Creek, North Carolina. It follows the story of a girl named Sarah (12) and the events that followed a car accident that landed her 6 year old sister in the hospital. Sarah stays with her grandparents a good part of the book. Her grandparents live next to a longtime family friend Miss Irene and her granddaughter Ruby Lee. Sarah and Ruby had been friends since they were little, but growing up in a period of segregation complicated their friendship. When t ...more
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SHANNON HITCHCOCK grew up in rural North Carolina on a 100-acre farm. Her extended family and love of the south are integral to her stories. Shannon is the author of ONE TRUE WAY, (Scholastic 2018), RUBY LEE & ME, (Scholastic 2016), and the Crystal Kite Award-winning, THE BALLAD OF JESSIE PEARL. Shannon's picture book biography, OVERGROWN JACK was nominated for the Sue Alexander Most Promising ...more
“Every sorrow is different, but you get through 'em the same way. Plenty of rest, good food, and keeping your family and friends close by." She paused a minute. "A lot of prayer doesn't hurt either.” 4 likes
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