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Diamond Ruby

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  680 ratings  ·  197 reviews
Seventeen-year-old Ruby Thomas, newly responsible for her two young nieces after a devastating tragedy, is determined to keep her family safe in the vast, swirling world of 1920s New York City. She’s got street smarts, boundless determination, and one unusual skill: the ability to throw a ball as hard as the greatest pitchers in a baseball-mad city.From Coney Island ...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published May 4th 2010 by Atria Books
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  680 ratings  ·  197 reviews

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Jul 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
For those who love baseball, Diamond Ruby is a must read. For those who love to fall into a book, Diamond Ruby is a must read. And for those who love both baseball and slipping into another world, Diamond Ruby is pure magic.

A truly captivating story inspired by Jackie Mitchell, a teenage pitcher who struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig only to find herself (and all women) banned from baseball by then Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, Diamond Ruby pulls you in and never lets go.

Taking place
Jul 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
To say I'm surprised that I really liked this book, let alone loved it, is an understatement. I'm not a sports fan and I don't know diddly about baseball. But I do love a well-told story, and let me just say that Diamond Ruby is a wonderful story that's very well told indeed!

Ruby Thompson stole my heart--a bright and talented and sympathetic character, she beat the odds on a multitude of levels. Set against the backdrop of 1920s New York, this novel is rich in history, and it is also human and
Stacy Jensen
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is one of my top reads for 2014. It's been a long time since I fell so completely in love with a character. I followed Ruby through tragedy, opportunity, suspense and victory and wished for more when it was finished. This takes place primarily in the twenties and thirties when baseball was THE American sport. Ruby's self-perceived handicap is what will save her family from the harsh life events they encounter. There were thrills and chills, villains aplenty and unlikely heroes. Diamond Ruby ...more
Krisette Spangler
Sep 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What a great read! You'll fall in love with Ruby Thomas, as you follow her struggles to feed her nieces after the Spanish Influenza takes most of her family. The characters were very well drawn, and the story was fantastic. I couldn't believe this was Mr. Wallace's first fiction novel. Go ahead and pick up your copy today. You won't regret it.
Ashlee Seelos
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Diamond Ruby is about an 18 year old girl who can pitch a ball faster than any male Major League pitcher. I thought it would be a silly book, but I got caught up in it very quickly. I was significantly more interested in the story when I found out that the author wrote this book based on a real female pitcher, Jackie Mitchell, who actually struck out Babe Ruth! But this story is about so much more than baseball. Ruby is fighting for her life and the safety of her nieces throughout the entire ...more
Wisteria Leigh
Mar 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
DIAMOND RUBY[return]Joseph Wallace,Touchstone, 2010, $25.00,pb, 464pp, 978-1-4391-6005-3.[return][return][return]Ruby Thomas, a child of seven catches a fly ball hit by Casey Stengel on April 5, 1913. As she looks at the ball she imagines herself a pitcher. Whether her unusually long arms often a source of ridicule, contribute to her success one will never know. Catching baseball fever that day, Ruby is destined to make a mark on the world. [return][return]Later, using a tree in her backyard as ...more
Sonia Reppe
Apr 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
Beautiful cover, just OK writing. I picked this up because the main character is a teenage girl, but surprisingly it turns out to be too much of a guys book.

First, I am annoyed by historical fiction that is populated by famous characters; it's just not real to me. In this case it is Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey that have big roles (but plenty other famous people make an appearance too).

Second, I got tired of all the baseball in the second half; it got repetitive and it didn't help me know Ruby
Erika Robuck
Dec 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Set in the twenties in New York City, Diamond Ruby is the story of a young woman thrust into the role of caregiver for her family after the devastating Spanish influenza epidemic. With a combination of fierce love for her nieces, stubbornness, and a baseball pitch as good as any Major League player, Ruby manages to take care of her family, shatter stereotypes, and inspire suffragists by playing in an all male league.

It doesn’t take long, however, for predators from the KKK, to Prohibition
Stephanie (Bookish Plans)
Feb 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I actually enjoyed reading this book more than I thought I would. Joseph Wallace's writing is refreshing and superb. The character building was great and I was completely sucked into the story. I don't read a lot of baseball related books, because to is quite boring. But this book is far from boring and it really shed's a light on not just baseball set in the 1920's, but also about prohibition, and the Ku Klux Klan. Great read!
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was great! I could have read it in one sitting, had my schedule permitted. I love baseball, I love strong female leads. This book was the perfect combination of history, the powerful feminism of the 1920s, and strong and well developed characters. It is one of my new favorites, what a great library shelf find.

Kellyann Zuzulo
Diamond Ruby resonated for me in a way that few books do. Joe Wallace weaves a tale so lush with imagery and emotion that I not only felt I visited New York in the youth of the 20th century, but that I personally met his characters.
Ruby Thomas really is a gem. She's the star of this novel and you'll want to hold her hand as she embarks on a startling and determined path from a childhood that crystallizes her focus on the value in life. I won't give away the details, but from the very
Neil Shurley
Aug 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Twitter's a funny thing. I first read about this book on Twitter, in the conversations between other authors and readers. Soon I was following this author (@joe_wallace) and the praise for the book continued. I finally bought it, expecting to read a tale of a gal who played baseball against Babe Ruth. What I got was a book that sucked me into its world. At once thoughtful, informative and entertaining, Diamond Ruby lives in a very real cross section of 1920s America. Filled with great period ...more
Dec 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is ordinarily *not* the kind of book I'd pick up, but I'm glad I did. I have next to no interest in baseball, which is a big part of the story -- but it's so entertainingly written and so compelling that I really enjoyed it. Not to mention the fact that I ordinarily loathe fiction that incorporates actual historical characters. I take my hat off (or should that be my baseball glove?) to Joseph Wallace. Very nicely done.
May 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
What a wonderful book of historic fiction. Would especially be great reading for young girls ((and this 71 year old girl). Moderately uncomplicated plot but with some nice twists and turns and characters that you can almost see on the pages. It takes some real historical figures and twists them into the fictional story of this young girl's life in NYC In the 1920's. The venue is baseball, and although important, it's not the star of this book - Diamond Ruby is and her conquering spirit.
Christine Woods
Mar 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Ruby Thomas is a "diamond". Ruby, at a very young age, was called upon to endure so much in a very difficult era of life. Time and time again Ruby steps up to the "plate" and does what needs to be done to protect herself and the two small girls left in her care to survive. Thank-you Joseph Wallace for such a delightful and exciting book. The story never drags and is full of excitement and history. Diamond Ruby is a must read and one of my all time favorites.
Colleen Parker
Jul 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Though farfetched, this is a highly entertaining book and I recommend it as a pleasure read. The review on Goodreads said that it was closely based on a true story. Though loosely based on an actual event the main character is entirely fictional. There are some true historical events that occur in the story. This is covered in the afterward by the author.
Kate Durant
May 14, 2010 rated it liked it
I liked this book enough to recommend. It had solid writing and it made it easy to imagine you were right there. It made me want to learn more about Jackie Mitchell; and if the ban that Judge Landis put on women in baseball still exists today. I absolutely hated the ending, It should have there linked back to Jackie with a true strike out w the babe.
Jan 09, 2011 rated it it was ok
On the cover it says it's comparable to "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" -- that's an insult to Betty Smith. This one has a rail-thin plot and implausible situations. I wouldn't recommend this one. I wanted to like it and just couldn't. Silly stuff.
Sep 12, 2012 rated it liked it
very good historical fiction!!!
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this book about a strong, brave teenaged girl who became a formidable pitcher. She endures tremendous personal loss and incredible odds to break into baseball as the first woman pitcher on an all male team. The historical sports figures she meets along the way, as well as the various adversaries make for a page turning read. I rooted for this incredible female protagonist from the first to the last page!
Apr 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A few months ago, I was visiting my friends at Aaron's Books; and Todd and Sam couldn't stop raving about a book coming out in May called DIAMOND RUBY by Joseph Wallace. I am forever grateful to them for handing me their ARC because I have to tell you this book was amazing! I could not put this book down, and I think I carried it with me everywhere for two days including the dinner table. I'm positive that it's going to be one of my top reads for the year.

DIAMOND RUBY was just so good -- I wish
Mindy Borchardt
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Plucky girl, nobody can keep her down. Fun read.
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great baseball book that had a history lesson. If you're a fan of League of Our Own or baseball history, you'll like this one!!
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great story, well written
K.  Thielen
Mar 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
The last time that Ruby could remember being really happy was when she was seven years old. It was the day she spent at a baseball game with her family and caught a foul ball in the stands. She was so excited - and more importantly, in the days that followed, she learned that she had quite a talent for throwing the baseball. Ruby wouldn't realize until many years later, after so much tragedy entered her life, how important that day would become. Ruby is a strong female protagonist and Wallace ...more
Jan 27, 2018 rated it liked it
There are two different books mashed together here. Works occasionally.
Cathy Cole
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
First Line: Ruby Thomas had never seen anything as beautiful as Ebbets Field, with its brick exterior and half-moon windows that reminded her of slices of jelly candy.

Ruby Thomas was seven years old when she visited Ebbets Field. The date was April 5, 1913. It was the first and last time she remembered being happy.

Ruby's mother was an ardent suffragette, and homeschooled her children. Ruby was grateful for that because whenever the neighborhood children would see her, they'd take one look at her
May 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010-favorites
If you pay attention to book buzz on Twitter and at publisher previews, the 1920s are the new vampires. Whether or not that's true, I thoroughly enjoyed Diamond Ruby. The book opens with a young girl, Ruby Thomas, at Ebbets Field, attending a baseball game where she catches a foul ball and begins her fascination with the game. Called "Monkey Girl" for her long arms, Ruby soon discovers a talent with her captured ball: she call throw far, she can throw fast, she can throw hard.

Five years later,
Oct 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
(Review written by the 13 year old boy member of our household, who is a fan!) Diamond Ruby by Joseph Wallace, a historical fiction baseball novel, was published by Touchstone in 2010. Diamond Ruby is a page-turner. It is full of suspense, and Wallace keeps you wondering what will happen in the main character’s life. The plot takes you into the world of 17 year-old Ruby Thomas, who is left in charge of her two young nieces when everyone else dies from influenza. She is looking for ways to ...more
Feb 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
There is always something satisfying with reading about historical figures - especially females - who break boundaries and change the world for the better. Yes, even if it simply involves bringing women into a man's sport. It just gives me hope for the world - and a better appreciation of the world we live in today. I mean, Diamond Ruby is set in the 1920s - that's 90 years ago, and while that seems like a century ago, how many of us still know someone who can remember such a time where sports ...more
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