Review of Ruby Lost and Found

Ruby Lost and Found Ruby Lost and Found
by Christina Li
Middle School    Quill Tree/HarperCollins    304 pp.
5/23    9780063008939    $19.99
e-book ed.  9780063008953    $10.99

Thirteen-year-old Ruby Chu is grieving the death of Ye-Ye, her paternal grandfather, who would devise elaborate scavenger hunts around San Francisco’s Chinatown for her. Ruby has also lost her best friends Mia, who moved away, and Naomi, who has become closer with her soccer teammates. Even her sister, Viv, is moving across the country for college at the end of the summer. When Ruby gets caught ditching school, her parents send her off to Nai-Nai’s house for the summer. She spends the weekdays with her grandmother, visiting her friends (“a bunch of old Chinese ladies”) at the senior center, making tea, and watching Chinese dramas. An otherwise boring summer is interrupted when a newcomer, Liam, also no stranger to grief, appears at the senior center with his Maa-Maa. Summer slowly rolls on, Nai-Nai begins exhibiting signs of dementia, and Ye-Ye’s favorite bakery, a staple of Chinatown, threatens to close due to development. What begins as an isolating and overwhelming journey through grief turns hopeful as Ruby makes new friends, opens up to the people she loves most, and learns that she doesn’t have to navigate change alone.

From the July/August 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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