Reviews for Ruby Lu, Empress of Everything


Booklist Reviews 2006 February #2
Gr. 2-4. In this sequel to Ruby Lu, Brave and True (2004), Ruby Lu achieves her life's dream: to be a school "smile buddy." Assigned to help Flying Duck, her deaf cousin from China, acclimate to second grade, Ruby Lu takes her responsibility seriously. Unfortunately, she shirks her own duties as student, and both she and her cousin are assigned summer school for remedial work. During the course of the year, Spunky Ruby Lu also experiences the trauma of a letter home pinned to her shirt, scary swimming lessons, and the acquisition of reading glasses. Although the situations are age appropriate, some of the vocabulary and the similes ("thick as Russian novels") will fly over the heads of the book's intended audience, a few of whom may also find the length of the book a bit daunting. Even so, there's plenty of appealing detail about Ruby Lu's family life, and Look's portrayal of how immigration can strain a household is nicely handled, as are Ruby's humorous yet sincere endeavors to communicate with and help her cousin. ((Reviewed February 15, 2006)) Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2006 Fall
In this follow-up to [cf2]Ruby Lu, Brave and True[cf1], second-grader Ruby's cousin Flying Duck arrives from China. The story offers a main character as spunky as Ramona and as moody as Judy, a bustling pace, and a vocabulary that should challenge readers almost outgrowing early chapter books. Energetic ink cartoons are in line with this comic novel's frenetic atmosphere. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2006 #3
In this follow-up to Ruby Lu, Brave and True, second-grader Ruby's cousin Flying Duck arrives from China. Ruby loves her cousin, but soon everyone starts speaking Cantonese instead of English at home, forks are replaced by chopsticks, and after teaching Ruby's baby brother Chinese Sign Language, Flying Duck knows what he wants before Ruby does. "I hate immigration!" sobs the histrionic Ruby. And that's just the beginning. The next few months include not one but two life-saving events (one at the pool and the other involving refrigerator magnets); a meeting in the principal's office for fighting; and swimming lessons for aquaphobic Ruby. This Ruby Lu offers a main character as spunky as Ramona and as moody as Judy, a bustling pace, and a difficult vocabulary that should challenge readers almost outgrowing early chapter books. Energetic ink cartoons are in line with this comic novel's frenetic atmosphere. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2006 March #1
The best thing about Flying Duck and her family emigrating from China to live with Ruby Lu's family is that everything is new and exciting, but her mother warns her that even the most exciting things can grow old. Suddenly everything is different. The house is filled with strange new foods, the sounds of a new language and too many people. As Empress of Everything, Ruby Lu already has a full plate. How will she ever manage to squeeze all the new responsibilities that come with a suddenly much larger family into her schedule already packed with swimming lessons, the Plum Club and summer school? Reminiscent of Beverly Cleary's infamous Ramona Quimby, Ruby Lu is at once endearing and exasperating. The only flaw is the occasional tendency to pontificate. Peppered with delightful illustrations of the myriad adventures and mishaps, this follow-up to Ruby Lu, Brave and True (2004) does not disappoint. (Fiction. 7-10) Copyright Kirkus 2006 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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Library Media Connection - January 2007
Picking up where Ruby Lu, Brave and True (Simon & Schuster, 2004) ends, Ruby adjusts to life with her newly arrived Chinese relatives. She is mostly thrilled, but also frustrated by the challenges of sharing her home with her deaf cousin, Flying Duck, and her parents. At school, Ruby is proud to be Flying Duck's Smile Buddy, but she gets angry when her best friend, Emma, calls Flying Duck an alien (the outer space kind). Further trouble arises when Ruby and her cousin learn that they are headed to summer school and Emma declares that summer school is for dummies. But when Ruby saves Emma from drowning in their Shallow Shores swim class, their friendship is momentarily restored. Ruby is a spunky, unique character and an instantly recognizable second grade 'Everygirl'. Like all almost eight-year-olds, she gives as much weight to life's small challenges as she gives to larger philosophical ones. Although she crowns herself "Empress of Everything," she is not perfect and learns to live with failure and to celebrate success. Anne Wilsdorf's illustrations aptly capture the wonderful individuality of Ruby and her friends, as well as their frantic enthusiasm for life. Recommended. Amy Hart, Head, Bibliographic Services, Minuteman Library Network, Natick, Massachusetts © 2007 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2006 April #1
"Kids who have taken a shine to the likable lass will look forward to her return," wrote PW of Ruby Lu, Brave and True, and now she's back-in Ruby Lu, Empress of Everything by Lenore Look, illus. by Anne Wilsdorf. At the close of the first book, the heroine's cousin, Flying Duck, arrives from China and settles in; here Ruby Lu weighs the pros and cons of her new houseguest. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2006 July

Gr 1-3 -Ruby Lu takes her role as Smile Buddy to her deaf cousin, Flying Duck, so seriously that her work suffers, dooming the second grader to a vacation marred by summer school and a repeat of last year's swimming lessons. She is also dealing with the ups and downs of her relationship with her sometimes-best-friend, Emma. In the first two chapters, Ruby Lu's feelings about her cousin's arrival from China fluctuate from loving to disliking to accepting. Simple sentence structure, clear but varied word choice, and attention-grabbing transitions create a smooth chapter book that is suitable for early and reluctant readers. Black-and-white cartoon drawings add emotion, characterization, and humor, showing, for example, the exaggerated water-safety gear that the feuding Ruby Lu and Emma wear in the waist-deep pool before learning to swim. Pleased with accomplishing all 7 goals on her 12-step summer plan, Ruby Lu realizes too late that she has forgotten her summer reading, leaving readers anticipating another book fresh with third-grade misadventures. With exuberant impulsivity yet earnest introspection, Ruby Lu invites readers into a contemporary world that honors differences while ultimately celebrating universal moments of childhood-friendship, school, and self-realization.-Julie R. Ranelli, Kent Island Branch Library, Stevensville, MD

[Page 80]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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