Ruby and Olivia
A spooky middle-grade story that's full of fun, friendship, and humor--perfect for fans of Ingrid Law and Lisa Graff.
Ruby is bold and opinionated, while Olivia has always been respectful and well behaved. But Olivia’s good-girl image is tarnished when she takes the fall for her twin sister’s misdeed. And now Olivia is stuck with Ruby all summer—at a community service day camp for troublemakers.
To kick off the spirit of service, the campers are tasked with cataloging the contents of Live Oaks, a historic mansion in their town. Sorting through objects in an old house sounds boring, and working together is the last thing the girls want to do, but the stuff is actually kind of cool. There’s everything from mink stoles to golf clubs to antique dolls . . . and . . . wait . . . is that doll watching them?
It isn’t long until little tricks—like mysterious music playing, doors slamming, and shadows rising—start to spook the girls. They’d like to think the other campers are pranking them, but they soon realize that this empty mansion might not be uninhabited after all. To solve the mystery at Live Oaks, Ruby and Olivia will have to put their old grudges aside and figure out how to be a team.
This gently creepy middle-grade story is full of all the heart, humor, and authenticity that make Rachel Hawkins a favorite with kids and teachers alike.
Ruby Kaye and Olivia Willingham, two very different 12-year-olds, reluctantly band together when a local historic house shows signs of being haunted. Reserved, rule-following Olivia takes the blame for her twin sister's shoplifting, which earns her a spot at Camp Chrysalis, a day camp focused on community service; sister Emma, meanwhile, gets to attend sleepaway camp. At Camp Chrysalis, Olivia spends her days with one of Emma's former friends, an opinionated girl named Ruby. Strange happenings and ghostly music that only Ruby and Olivia seem to notice draws the girls into the odd and tragic history of Live Oak House, named after the massive oak at its center. Hawkins (Journey's End) keeps the frightening elements of this story light and slightly opaque, focusing on the growing friendship between Ruby and Olivia, who are starting to see the importance of looking beyond initial impressions. Olivia, who must learn to stand up for herself especially against Emma feels very much like the central character, even though the girls get equal attention on the page in their alternating narratives. Ages 8 12.