Almost Paradise
Almost Paradise
To purchase this item, you must first login or register for a new account.

Annotation: When twelve-year-old Ruby's mother goes to jail, Ruby finds her Aunt Eleanor, an ornery nun with some dark secrets, who Ruby hopes will help free her mother.
Catalog Number: #138116
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Pages: 296 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-374-30378-9
ISBN 13: 978-0-374-30378-5
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2016038518
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
When twelve-year-old Ruby Clyde Henderson's mother and Mom's boyfriend are arrested for armed robbery, Ruby Clyde's care falls to her aunt, a nun who lives on a ranch. It is "almost paradise" until Ruby Clyde discovers that Aunt Eleanor has cancer. Ruby Clyde's voice makes the story sing; she's resilient, vulnerable, honest, and hilarious, sharing her unique take on an unreliable world.
Kirkus Reviews
One undersized but indomitable tomboy tackles tough issues with wry humor as she attempts to create the home and family for which she yearns.Although Ruby Clyde—white, "flat as a pancake," and preferring her cowboy outfit to dresses—does not want to grow up, she has grown-up responsibilities taking care of her childlike mother. From waking up in the back seat of the car driven by Catfish, her mother's no-account boyfriend, to the theft of a pig from a two-bit circus and then Catfish's failed armed robbery at a convenience store, Ruby's 12th birthday is "Holy Longhorn cow!" With her mother and Catfish under arrest, Ruby and Bunny the pig hide from the police, heading to Paradise Ranch in the Texas Hill Country and the aunt she has just learned of: her mother's twin sister, Eleanor, a no-nonsense, rattlesnake-killing, very ill Episcopalian nun. Idiosyncratic characters and plot twists and turns keep the story going, but it is Ruby's distinctive voice that shines in this debut novel and makes even the most far-fetched twist seem trustworthy. Ruby's folksy precociousness and determination are as endearing as her realization that the world is not perfect and that love comes in pieces. Based on the old-fashioned cover illustration, all main characters are white. Rich in Southern flavor, loaded with biblical references and even a scattering of Dickens quotes: a rollicking read. (Fiction. 9-13)
School Library Journal
Gr 46Twelve-year-old Ruby Clyde's father was shot and killed before she was born, and she has no use for her mother's boyfriend Catfish. When Catfish commits armed robbery and gets himself and Ruby Clyde's mother arrested, the heroine is on her own. She sets off, with only her newly acquired pig, Bunny, for company. Ruby is determined to find Paradise Ranch, a peach orchard in Texas, where her mother's estranged twin, a nun, lives. Sister Eleanor Rose has her own secrets. Plucky and wise beyond her years, Ruby relies on hope and common sense in equal measure, and her voice is the star of Shofner's debut novel. Although her mother has failed her, she has loving adults in her life who are willing to protect her, and readers will be glad to see her get her happy but hard-won ending. VERDICT A quirky and ultimately uplifting tale, perfect for fans of Kate DiCamillo and Joan Bauer.Laurie Slagenwhite Walters, Brighton District Library, Brighton, MI
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* It's not often that a book gets everything so right: characters, plot, setting, voice. It's even rarer to find all that in a first novel. But Shofner has taken all the established, important elements of a good middle-grade novel, given them a brisk shake, and served them up to readers in way that both entertains and enlightens. It begins with sage, sassy 12-year-old Ruby Clyde Henderson, whose life has taken a tumble. Her ineffectual mother, Babe, has taken up with a loser Ruby dismissively calls the Catfish. But the Catfish proves he's good at something rning a fiasco into a nightmare en a gas station robbery he stages winds up with Babe in jail and Ruby hiding out in a strange town. She knows her mother's twin sister is nearby, but she's an Episcopalian nun living on a peach ranch, and besides, Babe and Aunt Eleanor haven't spoken in years. This out-of-the-box setup becomes a ring within which a set of unique characters wrestles, reversing many long-held and heartfelt beliefs along the way. Though told in Ruby's unique voice, the book nonetheless does fine by its adult characters, especially the dyspeptic Aunt Eleanor, who both teaches and is taught, and shows her fealty to duty in a surprising twist that will leave readers with plenty to chew on.
Word Count: 51,680
Reading Level: 5.0
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.0 / points: 8.0 / quiz: 190293 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.5 / points:12.0 / quiz:Q71438
Lexile: 730L

A heartfelt debut about a spunky girl determined to save her family and find her way home. Twelve-year-old Ruby Clyde Henderson's life changes the day her mother's boyfriend holds up a convenience store, and her mother is wrongly jailed for assisting with the crime. Ruby and her pet pig, Bunny, find their way to her estranged Aunt Eleanor's home. Aunt Eleanor is an ornery nun who lives in the midst of a peach orchard on Paradise Ranch. With a little patience, she and Ruby begin to get along, but Eleanor has secrets of her own--secrets that might mean more hard times for Ruby. It's not going to be easy for Ruby Clyde and Eleanor to heal old wounds, face the past, and learn to trust each other. But with enough little pieces of love, they might be able to bring their family together again, and learn that paradise isn't a place--it's the feeling of being home. Corabel Shofner's ALMOST PARADISE is a funny and heartfelt story of determination, belonging, and the joys of loving one another.

*Prices subject to change without notice and listed in US dollars.
Perma-Bound bindings are unconditionally guaranteed (excludes textbook rebinding).
Paperbacks are not guaranteed.
Please Note: All Digital Material Sales Final.