Author Exclusive: Derrick Barnes introduces Ruby
Imagine being the youngest in a family of four kids. Now, imagine being the little sister of three of the most popular boys on the block and at Hope Road Academy, their school. To be honest, to keep it real, it stinks for 8-year-old Ruby Marigold Booker. I mean, she loves her brothers, but how can a girl as dynamic, as stylish, as talented, and as smart as Ruby receive a little bit of shine? ("Shine" is Bellow Rock lingo for attention, some of the spotlight, a share of stardom.) Her great singing voice, her unmatched trivia skills, owning the flyest pet iguana ever, and having a ton of colorful creative ideas will have to be her way to step out on her own and become her own "Booker."
Marcellus is 12, and they call him "Big Time." He is good looking, a master musician, and stuck on Marcellus. All the girls go nuts when he hits the scene, which has apparently gone to his big head. Roosevelt — or, as everyone at Hope Road Academy calls him, "Ro Rowdy" — is a prankster, a rascal, and he always finds a way to get underneath Ruby's skin. Tyner — or "Ty Noodles" — is a brilliant student and has a brain the size of Pluto. He's so smart, he was allowed to skip two grade levels! There's more to the fabulous Booker Boys, but we'll get into all of that stuff later. For now, as you can see, Ruby has a lot to compete with. Imagine what it was like for Janet Jackson having Michael and the Jackson 5 as big brothers. She obviously carved a name for herself, but it sure took some guts and star power. Well, if there are two things that Ruby is full of, it's star power and guts (that didn't come out right — you know what I mean.)
In book #1, Brand New School, Brave New Ruby, Ruby will be leaving her old school and attending Hope Road Academy where the Booker Boys are bigger than the Jonas Brothers — bigger and definitely cooler.
In book #2, Trivia Queen: 3rd Grade Supreme, Ruby has to face one of her biggest fears and at the same time flex one of her biggest muscles while competing against two of her big brothers in a trivia contest.
Book #3, The Slumber Party Payback, has Ruby at the end of her rope when Roosevelt continues to ruin her slumber parties. Enough is enough! Our girl Ruby has something in store for that chump brother of hers.
And in Ruby Flips For Attention, book #4, Ruby forms her own neighborhood drill team after watching her big cousin compete in a cheerleading competition. She quickly learns that being a neighborhood superstar has a lot more to do with community service than it does cute outfits and pom-poms.
Ruby is amazing, very real, and hilarious. I hope that there will be a legion of Ruby Booker fans all over the country. She's more than girl power; she is the living embodiment of independence, powerful ideas, and motivation. Nothing will stop her from becoming the star she was created to be. Ruby is shopping on Saturday afternoons. Ruby is coming up with and singing her own songs at the drop of a dime. Ruby is hands-on-hips, eyes rolling, and hands to the face. Ruby is double dutch, roller skating, hot dill pickles, and a pocketful of candy. Ruby is cute hairstyles, mix & match shoes, and a smile that could change the weather from gloomy October to the middle of July. She's all that and more.
Stay tuned for more Ruby books, but in the meantime spread the word about your new favorite heroine — the amazing, the fabulous, the outstanding Ruby Marigold Booker. And check out this video with more on Ruby:
— Derrick Barnes, Author