Letters to Miss Eula

Love, Ruby Lavender

Forgiveness never comes easy.

Nine-year-old Ruby Lavender is heartbroken after her grandmother, Miss Eula leaves their small town of Halleluia, Mississippi to visit her baby grandson in... Hawaii. To communicate, they write letters. "Well, I hope you are happy. I am not." (pg. 46) Ruby has to forgive Miss Eula for leaving her. She only has her as her companion and now she doesn't even have her. Ruby has nothing but her chickens to tend to and is stuck with Melba Jane, who blames Ruby for killing her father and Ruby's grandfather. "I hate you Ruby Lavender, and I hate your stupid chickens." (pg. 124) From this quote I know that Melba Jane shares the same hatred for Ruby as Ruby does for her. I think that Melba Jane is so heartbroken that her father died that she needs somebody to blame, anybody, and she has chosen Ruby as that person. Until both she and Ruby can learn how to forgive each other, they cannot accept that this tragic accident was just that, an accident.

Ruby writes letters to her grandmother while discovering more about herself through some new friends she has made.

Ruby writes letters to her only friend, her grandma in Hawaii who has left her for the summer to visit her new grandson. Ruby is stuck alone and friendless in her small town. But to her surprise, she finds friends in the strangest of places. She befriends, Dove, her fourth grade teacher's niece, and some chickens she stole whom she is caring for. Her long time enemy Melba Jane is meaner than ever. Melba Jane seems to think that the car crash with caused her father's and Ruby's grandfather's death is all Ruby's fault. And Ruby believes her. But nobody saw what happened that night, and as Dove helps her uncover the clues, Ruby learns that it's not anybody's fault. Her grandfather would have drove home in the dark anyway, because he had never stayed a night away from sweet Miss Eula. As Ruby tries to cope with this new truth, she and Melba Jane try to forgive each other. But as Ruby soon learns, forgiveness never comes easy and it will take the wildest of circumstances to bring these two girls together.

Deborah Wiles

Deborah Wiles has written many novels, her first one being Love Ruby Lavender. This book has received outstanding attention and praise for any debut novel. It is an ALA Notable Children's Book, a NCTE Notable Children's Trade Book in the Language Arts, A Parent's Guide Children Media and Award Winner, and A CHILDREN'S BOOK SENSE 76 SELECTION. Her other novels include: Countdown, Each Little Bird That Sings, Love, Ruby Lavender, One Wide Sky, and Freedom Summer.