Review Blog

Apr 20 2018

Ruby in the ruins by Shirley Hughes

cover image

Walker Books, 2018. ISBN 9781406375893
(Age: 8+) Highly recommended. Ruby in the Ruins is a beautifully illustrated story depicting life in the ruins of London after World War Two. The war is over and Ruby and her mum are eagerly awaiting the return of Ruby's dad, a soldier. Ruby and her mum have survived the bombings of London while dad has been fighting in the war. Ruby and her mum huddled together, waiting for the bombs to finish falling and praying for their house to stay safe. When the war was declared over, many families celebrated and waited for their husbands and fathers. Ruby was excited but did not recognise the man in her home. It had been a long time without him. Ruby's family is now different and London is very different. Ruby and her friends explore the ruins around London and it is during one of these explorations that Ruby realises just how much she needs her dad.
Many of the stories published about the war are from the perspective of the soldiers or about the returning soldiers. Ruby in the Ruins is from the perspective of a child. Readers will see how London was damaged without the gruesome details of war. Each detailed picture will create a discussion and encourage the readers to ask questions about this period of time. The text is aimed at readers aged 8+ but could still be read out loud to younger children as it is descriptive but simple. It is highly recommended for readers aged 8+.
Kylie Kempster

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