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The Beat on Ruby's Street

(Beat Street #1)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  68 ratings  ·  53 reviews
The last thing eleven-year-old Ruby Tabeata expected to happen on her way to a Jack Kerouac reading was to be hauled to the police station.

It's 1958 and Ruby is the opposite of a 1950s stereotype: fierce, funny and strong willed, she is only just starting to chart her course in a family of Beat Generation artists in Greenwich Village. Ruby dreams of meeting famous poets wh
Paperback, 216 pages
Published June 1st 2016 by Dragon Moon Press (first published April 26th 2013)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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Rachel (borntoberustic)
This book is about the "Beat" generation from the 1940's. As I wasn't previously familiar with this part of American history, I found this book to be especially interesting! The Beat on Ruby's Street is primarily geared towards middle grade readers, but it can definitely be enjoyed by book-lovers of all ages.

One thing in particular I love about this book is Jenna Zark's writing style. She perfectly channels the thought process of a 12-year-old child. The writing is structured and well thought ou
Greenwich Village, 1958, a place and time where free spirits congregated to express themselves, make far-reaching statements and live under the radar of authority. This is the life young Ruby has known, think on your feet, be suspect of authority and always give yourself an out. Growing up with inattentive parental figures, yet in a community who cares for its own, Ruby knows the value of a good eat, a good piece of poetry, and she has the street-smarts to survive, until the day she is chased by ...more
Apr 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would like to thank the author, Jenna Zark, for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This was a read completely out of my comfort zone. I don't often read children's fiction and I'm not particularly interested in the 1950s... but, I ended up falling a bit in love with this one. It's a sweet story told in an unique and charming way.

Ruby grows up as part of the "Beat Generation" and I wasn't at all familiar with this part of American history. I found that aspect of the book particu
Nov 26, 2018 rated it liked it
The Beat on Ruby’s Street is the first book in Jenna Zark’s Beat Street series, and it’s a unique young adult historical fiction that had me hooked throughout.

Although I enjoy a good historical fiction, I find most of my reads can be categorised into two categories. We have the regency reads and we have the World War reads. I sometimes step out of these two boxes – I’ve read a few Cold War espionage novels, for example – but it is rare. Thus, my knowledge of the time period in which The Beat on
May 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-book
3.5/5 stars

A copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review

This is a solid read. I liked it but it didn't stand out to me.

This book is a historical fiction book that takes place in the 1950's and we follow the story from the point of view from Ruby. Ruby is an 11 year old and absolutely loves poetry. One thing I like about is that we see Ruby's hobby throughout the story. In some books they mention that a character likes something and will never acknowledge it again. In th
Sep 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Beat on Ruby's Street was an interesting novel about a young girl in that "tween" stage of life. Ruby is a rebel with a cause and poetic soul. I think she thinks she is misunderstood throughout the novel by her peers, parents and other adult figures. But this is the view of a child. Zark keeps true to this period peace, when protests of war are high and the arts (poetry and painting) are taboo. In The Beat on Ruby's street we follow young Ruby through many acts of childhood rebelliousness. E ...more
Elizabeth (Stuffed Shelves)
Ruby Tabeata is an eleven year old who lives in Greenwich Village during 1958. This is during the time when people wrote about their unhappiness towards society. Despair was expressed through works of writing and music.

Ruby was on her way to a reading by her favorite poet, when she was accused of stealing and was taken off to the police department. Since she is a minor, things get out of hand when a social worker is assigned to her and her case because she does not have two parents living with
†Reviews of a FearStreetZombie†
I received this book for an honest review.

In all honesty, this book wasn't my cup of tea. Which is where the missing final star comes in. I give it four stars because even though it wasn't my kind of story, it was still a really good story. Man, this story also raised my blood pressure like something fierce but I knew I couldn't stop reading because I just had to know what happens. It was also written very well yet I also feel like there was something missing. I felt like the story was incomplet
Anna Lane
11-year-old Ruby grows up in Greenwich Village. The story is set in 1958, but I didn’t feel the historical significance. The strength of the book is in the writing style. The author has captured Ruby's particular voice, and it is this that kept my interest.
It is a short story for middle-grade readers. She has an unusual upbringing with informal home education, and she’s happy to get along on her own. That is, until, when arranging fruits on a stand, she is accused of stealing.
A slow, albeit inte
Francine Maessen
This wasn't my cup of tea, but mostly because I didn't have the right expectations. I was hoping to find a kind of literary introduction to the Beat poets, but they play such a minor role in this book. It also turned out to be a kind of Young Adult book, a genre I normally don't like that much. You can find my full review here:

K.D. Reed
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh man, this was SO great. (I did receive a copy in exchange for an honest review)
Writing/Style: 4/4
Characters: 4/4
Story: 4/4
Pacing: 3/4
Ending: 2/4
Total: 17/20
I loved this so much. The author's style really brought Ruby to life. Amazing characters. Fantastic story. Unique voice. Just all around wonderful. The pacing seemed to shift about 2/3 of the way through the book, not in a distracting way, just slightly noticeable for me. And the ending, while GREAT, did seem to wrap up a tiny bit too fast
Julia Sapphire
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-arc, 2017
I was sent this book in exchange for an honest review

This book takes place in 1958 and our protagonist- an eleven year old girl named Ruby must fight to get back to the people she loves. She was caught supposedly stealing fruit and was later put into a group home and taken away from her mother.

I believe that the premise of this book is super interesting because it is a middle-grade historical fiction, but I don't think the execution of the story was up to par with its synopsis. The story fe
Vera mallard
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

In The Beat On Ruby's Street we find Ruby, a child of the 50's and the beatnik era. Ruby lives free and somewhat wild while mom and dad beatniks do their thing. Ruby's growing up and finding who she is. However, accused of stealing, Ruby's life implodes.

Never fear, Ruby's strong, determined, and coming of age. Ruby has dreams of poetry, meeting the famous Jack Kerousac, and becoming a poetic. Challenges will be met, confronted, and conquered.

Come along with R
Billy Buttons
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was entered and was a GOLD MEDAL WINNER in The 2016 Wishing Shelf Book Awards. This is what our readers thought:

Title: The Beat on Ruby’s Street
Author: Jenna Zark
Star Rating: 5 Stars
Number of Readers: 36
Editing: 10/10
Writing Style: 10/10
Content: 10/10
Cover: 10/10
Of the 36 readers:
36 would read another book by this author.
35 thought the covers were good or excellent.
36 felt it was easy to follow.
36 would recommend them to another reader to try.
35 thought the opening chapter was ver
Lydia Thomas
Nov 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I give The Beat on Ruby’s Street by Jenna Zark 5 out of 5 stars.

Ruby Tabeata is an old soul living in a 1950s Beat community with her family. Because of her unconventional upbringing, Ruby is torn from her family and placed in a group home, not to be returned unless her parents agree to conform to society’s expectations. Refusing to accept this turn of events, Ruby carries out a plan of her own.

Ruby’s voice is thoughtful and engaging throughout the story; poetic, yet very much what an eleven-alm
Donna Shad
Dec 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ruby learns how to make a statement, when she unknowingly meets her hero. She gets into trouble time and time again through a series of lies and mishaps. She's taken from her home and finds that she just want's to get home so she goes and figures a way out but her mom comes to save her the only way her mom can. She marries another man. Ruby can't handle her mom and dad not getting married. Remember this is set in the 1950's it's shocking for people to have kids out of wedlock.
Her life is now up
Sandra Stiles
I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Ruby is an eleven-year-old, who has become a "free thinker" like her idol Jakl Keroauc. She is on her way to one of his readings when she is arrested and accused of stealing fruit. Her mom is an artist and her father is a muscian. They allow her to run the streets and be this free thinker and this is what gets social services to remove her. Ruby learns that other eare no perfect families. She also learns how impor
Gina R Mitchell
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
What a fun read, no matter what your age. Travel back to Greenwich Village , NY in the late 1950’s, to meet 11 year old Ruby. Ruby is part of the Beat Generation. Her Mom is an artist and her Dad is a musician. She loves Beat poetry and is trying her hand at writing, while plotting to meet her idol, Jack Kerouac. Naturally, trouble follows her on her journey.

I don’t want to share any more of the plot but it’s intriguing, fun, and dramatic. Love all the bits of historical facts sprinkled through
I loved this book! From the adventures in the first chapter to self-discovery in the last, I did not want to put this book down. We get a glimpse into the life of 12 year old Ruby, who is being raised in the Village by her unmarried, beatnik parents. She wants to be a poet like Jack Kerouac, and some of her poems are sprinkled throughout the book. This is a middle-grade book and I would love to see a sequel where we get to catch up with 15 year old Ruby, or maybe even 20 year old Ruby.
The autho
Liliyana Shadowlyn
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Beat on Ruby's Street is for the lack of a better word, powerful. I know what the synopsis said, but I was not prepared for the depth and breadth of experiences and emotions that washed over me in waves as I read this. I'm 32 years old as I write this, and I know this book is accessible to middle grade readers, but also enjoyable for readers of all ages. I never lived in the 50s, but I felt like I was walking those streets with Ruby, hearing, seeing, smelling everything she did. Absolutely b ...more
Ruth Blomster
Jul 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great read for any age, 9 years to 99 years old. The delightful story follows 11 year old Ruby in her beatnik neighborhood as she plans on going to meet her poetry - writing hero, Jack Kerouac. Real life problems challenge our head-strong child, and we find ourselves rooting for her all along her way.

The novel is very well written, and I know no one will be disappointed in this debut novel from local author Jenna Zark.
Tinted Edges
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 - check out my full review here: ...more
Erica Robyn Metcalf
The Beat on Ruby's Street by Jenna Zark is a book about Ruby Tabeata, an eleven-year-old living in Greenwich Village.

Full disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my rating in any way.

I thought that this book was written very well, style wise! I really enjoyed how perfectly the author captured the persona of the eleven-year-old main character. The storyline flowed in a linear fashion over a seemingly short period of ti
Cynthia Hilston
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Beat on Ruby’s Street is a novel intended for middle-grade students, as the protagonist is an 11-year-old girl named Ruby, and the story is told from first-person point-of-view. Ruby’s voice is realistic for a girl her age, and I think this book reads appropriately for kids around the same age.

The details of New York in the late 1950s and the Beat Generation of the time are also fleshed out well in the backdrop. There’s a certain freedom to being a kid 60 years ago that I feel no longer app
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is about a girl named Ruby who lives in the 1940/50s. The story follows her as she struggles her way through an important event in her life. Honestly this book surprised me. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this. Ruby is a young poet and that’s pretty cool. Very few MG books are about or include poetry. I think that’s a shame because poetry is fluid and mysterious and deserves more credit. I especially love how the author incorporates the poetry into Ruby’s life. You c ...more
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Thanks to the the author for the review copy of this e-book - all opinions are my own.

This historical fiction novel grabbed my interest from the very beginning. Ruby is a brave and spunky and resourceful eleven year old living in a small, rather shabby apartment in Greenwich Village in 1958. Her mother is an artist and her father a musician who are part of the “beat generation”. She attends a “school” run by two neighborhood candy shop owners, Blu and Sky, with a handful of other kids her age a
Kasey Giard
Nov 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ruby is a precocious girl living in Greenwich Village in the 1950s whose family gets into trouble after she’s accused of stealing. Her parents are pretty unconventional by 1950s standards: not married, sending her to “school” at a store run by some friends, and teaching her about Beat poets and art. Ruby writes poetry of her own, and looks up to other poets like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg.

I enjoyed the writing– Jenna Zark has a way of writing in this rambly, quirky style that reminds me of
Eleven-year old Ruby Tabeata is growing up in Greenwich Village in 1958. She is part of the Beat generation and lives a slightly different kind of life than those around her. Ruby loves poetry and writes some herself, her biggest dream is to hear Jack Kerouac perform. However, her parents aren't exactly married, her house isn't the cleanest and she doesn't attend a normal school. All of this plus being mistaken for stealing from a market stall gets Ruby in trouble and gets the attention of a soc ...more
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Beat on Ruby's Street gives you an intimate look into the Beatnik culture through the eyes of 12-year-old Ruby. You get to hear her thoughts as she creates poetry, suffers through betrayal, and learns the true meaning of family.

I've always enjoyed reading about other cultures and eras, and this story was no different. Ruby is a charming, strong-willed, dynamic personality that you can't help but love. She dominates the scene, but the supporting characters are by no means just background nois
s. z.
Feb 26, 2019 rated it liked it
**Disclaimer: I got the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review which surely will not affect my opinion in any ways.**

I admit the story have a good flow; from the beginning until the ending. But I can’t help feeling disappointed of the small setting problems throughout this book. There are some tiny holes of the plot in this story.Sometimes, the going is good but then, there feels like something is missing. There are little parts that are not there which actually will be good if i
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Jenna Zark is a columnist, lyricist, and playwright. Her play A Body of Water was published by Dramatists Play Service and produced regionally after its debut at Circle Repertory in
New York. Other plays were produced in the Twin Cities, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and St. Louis. As a columnist at TC Jewfolk, Zark writes about her relationships to Jewish holidays, rituals, and more. Columns have been rep

Other books in the series

Beat Street (2 books)
  • Fool's Errand (The Beat Street Series Book Book 2)

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