Book review: The Center of Everything

Center of Everything coverby Linda Urban
Realistic fiction
Interest level: 3-6
Reading level: 5.1
5 out of 5 stars

This is a wonderful story that I give 5 out of 5 stars. However, it is not a story that everyone will enjoy, so I recommend it to 4th and 5th-graders who are looking for a thoughtful read. Twelve-year-old Ruby Pepperdine is trying to make sense of her world after the death of her grandmother, her beloved Gigi, who was her “center of everything.”

The story takes place throughout the course of a small town parade celebrating Captain Bunning, the inventor of the hole in the center of donuts. Told in flashbacks, this quiet story is made of small moments strung together, which challenges Ruby, and the reader to figure out the world, and our place and role in it.

Ruby struggles a lot with the issue of what you are supposed to do and feel, and ends up with the thought, “What if there is no supposed to?”

Linda Urban has created characters who are flawed, but so real and recognizable to readers. She accurately describes and makes real the feelings of confusion and pain as you try to move forward with your life following the death of someone close to you.

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