Cover Image: Ruby Lost and Found

Ruby Lost and Found

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Member Reviews

Ruby Chu's summer after seventh grade seems to be a different one than previous summers. She ended seventh grade on a bad note; in detention and her best friends seem to have moved her out of their lives for more interesting popular friends. Her busy popular sister is moving out to college and her parents are always very busy with work, work, work. There is no one left to go on scavenger hunts through their hometown, San Francisco's Chinatown, with her after her beloved grandfather Ye-Ye recently passed away, which she is still grieving. And to top it all off and make things even more difficult this summer; because of her school detention, her parents ordered Ruby to spend the summer with her distant grandmother, Nai-Nai in Chinatown to keep an eye on each other. Ruby doesn't really know her Nai-Nai that well, but during the summer with her, she gets to know her sweet and kind grandmother better. A dark shadow is cast upon her stay when is announced by her aunt that her beloved Chinese bakery in Chinatown that has been in the family for decades, is closing down and the property is sold to developers. The bakery was Ruby and Ye-Ye's favorite spot of the scavenger hunts, and Ruby is devastated that she can never go for her favorite pastries there again, and tries to think up a plan to prevent the closing, beside looking after Nai-Nai, who is slowly suffering from beginning dementia and gets forgetfull and lost a few times. Through her summer is different then expected, Ruby finds out there is just more then just her friends who let her down, and what home really means.
This a very good and original middle grade book. I love that the setting is in one of my favorite places on eart, San Francisco's Chinatown. The author doesn't shy away from the actual real life situation with many stores that have been there for decades, are closing down, just like the Chinese bakery of Ruby's aunt. The bond that forms between Ruby and Nai-Nai is soo sweet. They both miss beloved Ye-Ye very much.  Ruby Lost and Found is a moving story about family, grief, and growing up in San Francisco as an Chinese American, and how important it is to find your own community of support system. I loved this book because its is so well writtten, realistic and original. I truly recommend it!!
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This was an unexpected gem to find in my backlist of NetGalley ARCs. Li created such a realistic middle grade character struggling with real struggles from the relatively small, changes in friendships after the cross country move of a friend, to much larger struggles, grief after the unexpected death of her grandfather. The reader quickly finds themselves empathizing with Ruby as she tries to navigate a life that she did not expect to get this complicated.
I highly recommend this book.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for granting me free access to the advanced digital copy of this book, as this book has already been published, I will not share my review on Netgalley at this time.
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Incredibly heart touching story of dealing with grief, struggles of early teen years and how important it is to find your own community of support system. Christina Li's style of writing the love and comfort Ruby felt at her grandparents' is so beautiful. the highlight of this book is how it explored every relationship with emotion and care.

also, mouth water Chinese food descriptions.
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Such a heartrending book about a girl trying to find herself after losing her best friend -- her grandfather. Ye-Ye would lead her through San Francisco with elaborate scavenger hunts that taught her to know the city like an extension of herself. But that was before. Now, Ruby is in big trouble at school for skipping classes, her friends are abandoning her, and her sister is about to leave for college. This is a empathetic book about processing grief and finding oneself after loss. The Chinatown setting is perfectly crafted. Inclusive and emotionally resonant.
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I really had a tough time reading this book but... wait!! Don’t assume anything yet! Ruby Lost and Found is such a treasure, an amazing middle grade book. I had a difficult time reading this book because like Ruby, I resist change in my life. I found a friend at heart in the main character Ruby, though we are likely MANY years apart. Ruby’s journey navigating major changes in her life brought me on an adventure to push through and start to accept the recent changes in my own life.

Though difficult to find the resilience to get through the many changes of life, Ruby Lost and Found helps the reader not feel like they are alone. LOVE this book and highly recommend it!!!

Grateful to have received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley & HarperCollins Children's Books, Quill Tree Books
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Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review! 

Ruby Lost and Found is an honest book about grief and learning how to live after losing a loved one. I’ve not seen a book quite like this before in how it portrays the main character dealing with grief. Grief doesn’t just have one look and Ruby is a character that is dealing with grief in a way that others don’t quite understand after she loses her grandfather. Ruby is a character who makes mistakes but ultimately learns from them. I think kids will be able to relate to how Ruby works through her grief and changes in her life. 

I think that the author built a great community of people that Ruby finds herself surrounded by. I enjoyed the parts where we got to learn more about her parents, sister, grandmother, and the people at the community center. While Ruby is dealing with her own problems, I think she learns that people can also be dealing with their own problems that aren’t always easy to see. This idea is something that can be good for students to encounter and think about or also engage in discussions about with others. 

Ruby Lost and Found is a great addition for any middle school audience.
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- thank you to netgalley and the publisher for an arc to review!

- a heart wrenching story of grief, living after losing a loved one, and finding yourself in the world. the characters and writing had me invested from the beginning, and my heart was broken and mended as i went from page to page. if you're looking for a wonderful middle grade book that explores grief and exploration of self, then this is the book you'd be looking for!
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Kids will relate so well to Ruby as she navigates (metaphorically and physically and emotionally) through grief and change. The story has enough questions and conflict to propel the reading, but not so much to distract from watching the characters grow.
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I love that middle grade novels have the capacity to break my heart. 

The novel does a great job of addressing family, grief, and the Asian American experience. Absolutely adored this novel and I'm sure many children will too.
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Thanks to NetGalley for letting me read a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review. I'm not good at reviewing books in a timely manner, but I am working on it.  

Everything around Ruby is changing: her grandfather recently died, one best friend moved across the country and the other is ignoring her, her older sister is focused on leaving for college and her parents are busy starting a new company. To make matters worse, she gets in trouble at school and is forced to spend the summer with her grandmother who spends most of her time at the senior center. Over the course of the summer, she makes mistakes but learns from them, finds new friends, and brings her family together. 

I loved how Ruby’s relationship with her grandparents was portrayed. I thought it handled the topic of grief very well. This book reminded me a lot of Book Scavenger with its San Francisco setting and scavenger hunts. It also reminded me of It's Boba Time for Pearl Li with its young Asian American protagonist desperate to save a small but beloved business.
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Dealing with grief and major life changes are, individually, enough to carry a middle grade novel. Li combines the two deftly. This books hits all the major themes of a middle grade novel - changing friendships, feeling like your life is out of control, parental disapproval, unexpected relationships. Each flows naturally into the next. It doesn't offer simple solutions, more of the reassurance that any issue is manageable with help and taken one small step at a time.
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I liked the story overall, as well as the themes of loss and change. I was somewhat frustrated with Ruby herself though, whose behavior and reactions were so often selfish and explosive but rarely addressed. The author goes out of her way to make it clear that Ruby not only feels different from her family and friends, she actually is different. She appears to have a number of attention and academic issues and I kept expecting some kind of diagnosis to appear but it never did. I was left wondering if a plot associated with autism or a learning disorder was left out at the last minute, or if Ruby really was just a difficult kid with parents unkind enough to constantly remind their child that they value her less than her apparently perfect older sister.
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I cried several times while reading this sweet middle grade book that explores relationships with family and friends. Ruby, 13, has had a TOUGH year. Her beloved grandfather died, one best friend moved away and the other is not speaking to her. She got in trouble at school at the end of a difficult year, and now her parents have banished her to stay with her grandmother during the summer to "keep her out of trouble." Her older sister is getting ready to go to college and never has time for her, and her parents are too busy with their new business to really see what is going on with Ruby, other than that she is struggling to move on in her grief.
I really loved the way the story unfolded a little at a time, with Ruby gradually getting to why she got in trouble, and why she is still frozen in grief. The secondary characters are fantastic, especially Nai-Nai and her friends at the senior center, and of course Liam. I loved the maps, the treks around San Francisco, and Ruby's heart. This is not a fast-paced book, but readers who like getting to know characters and settings will love it, and the payoff at the end is worth it. Yes, there are tears, but there are also laughs - and Ruby is a character that will stay with me.
Thanks to @NetGalley for the advanced copy!
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This was a lovely middle grade with a lot of heart and heartache.

A lesser author would have turned this into a "Save the Bakery!" book about kids making a big difference in their community. It appears to go that way somewhere in the middle, but the story takes a more realistic and somber turn as Ruby learns about all the systematic issues that are plaguing the Chinatown bakery.

Ultimately, this is about Ruby accepting that things are going to change, which is perfect for a story about a 13-year-old. Her friends are changing. Her grandfather died. Her grandmother is showing signs of dementia. Her sister is going off to college. The bakery, so tied to her memory of her grandfather, is going to close. Her parents see her as a troublesome problem. And there is this one summer where she has to accept that part of growing up is change.
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Thank you Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book!

As summer begins, Ruby is dealing with the changes in her life, Ruby doesn't quite know how to move on after her grandfather passes away, and you will feel some tearful moments, she then lives with her grandmother and yet meets a friend from school,   I love reading about Asian Culture, a great read from this Author.  You will definitely enjoy it until the end.
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Thank you NetGalley and Quill Tree Books for the Advanced Reader Copy!

I can wholeheartedly say that this is now one of my favorite books of all time!
"Ruby Lost and Found" follows the protagonist Ruby as she grapples with the layers and complexities of grief after her beloved grandfather dies, her older sister moves away, and her close-knit friend group grows distant. Her whole world is changing, and she is stuck living with her grandmother over the summer. As the novel processes, we see Ruby connect with others, although hesitant at first, and find joy within her local community. We are also given looks at treasured moments between Ruby and her grandfather in the past and just how much that relationship meant to Ruby. The book was extremely well-paced. Despite dealing with heavy themes of death and loneliness, Christina Li wrote about these difficult and complex conversations with such grace and compassion, especially for the younger target audience. And there were so many moments of humor too! I found myself belly laughing reading certain chapters. The book impeccably balanced both the lighter and heavier moments which made the reading process so smooth. I fell in love with all the characters and was crying throughout the last few chapters of the book. I would continue reading about all these characters, Ruby to Liam to Nai-Nai to May to list a few, for eons and eons to come if that was an option. This book is truly flawless and was such a joy to read. Everyone would benefit to read this book, regardless of age! I will forever recommend this book to everyone I know!
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Life has been tough for 13-year-old Ruby Chu since her grandfather (Ye-Ye) died. After she gets in trouble at school, her parents send her to help her grandmother (Nai-Nai), who is also adjusting to Ye-Ye’s death.

Though Ruby’s summer is looking dismal hanging out at the senior center with Nai-Nai’s friends and a new boy at her school, she manages to have a good time while developing her relationship with Nai-Nai.

But when a local Chinatown bakery is at risk of being closed down and Nai-Nai has a life-altering secret, Ruby is wondering if she can really find herself in the middle of her grief or if she’ll be lost for good.

The overall story is sweet. I love the emphasis on Ruby loving her grandfather and developing the relationship with her grandmother and her family throughout the story. She is a very relatable character and her struggles are real. There is a throwaway comment about a middle school girl having a crush on another girl that seems unnecessary but the other things that would be a struggle for younger readers does get redeemed in the end. I do recommended this for older kids though (12+) versus the 8-12 year recommended age on Amazon.

Thank you @netgalley for the chance to read and review this sweet book.
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I loved Ruby and all her flaws and admirable traits mixed together to make her feel so real. I felt her pain and grief as she dealt with losing her beloved grandfather and her best friend moving away. I loved the culture and food--this book made me so hungry while reading and now I want to try an egg tart. I enjoyed how this book dealt with dementia as it felt authentic from a middle grader's point of view. Ruby's parents mostly made me angry, but their actions didn't fit when they always punished/yelled at/disciplined Ruby for her actions/non-actions and never asked Ruby for her side. I would expect parents to not jump to such conclusions about the child they raised. Other than this issue (her parents played a small part in this novel), I enjoyed getting to know Ruby and her grandmother, Liam, and all the ladies at the senior center. My absolute favorite parts of this book were the flashbacks to the scavenger hunts--so heartwarming.
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Christina Li’s Ruby Lost and Found is a thought-provoking middle grade novel that focuses on family, friends, and healing.

Ruby has felt lost since her Ye-Ye passed away. She and her grandfather were incredibly close, and she doesn’t understand how everyone else has moved on so quickly. With one of her best friends moving away and the other unable to handle Ruby’s grief, Ruby feels more alone than ever. Blaming herself for Ye-Ye’s death, Ruby has grown distant from her Nai-Nai. Until she gets caught sneaking out of school at lunch and ends up having to spend the summer with Nai-Nai babysitting her. At 13, Ruby does not want or need a babysitter.

But maybe this summer with Nai-Nai is just what Ruby needs to heal.

Li crafts such realistic characters that I found myself daydreaming of going to San Francisco and bumping into Ruby on the street. San Francisco’s Chinatown is practically a character unto itself, with the sights, smells, and especially the tastes transcending the page.

Grief is no small thing, especially when one feels at fault. Li masterfully shows not only how Ruby’s guilt is misplaced, but also emphasizes the importance of having conversations around loss. When Ruby and her Nai-Nai finally talk about Ye-Ye’s death, it brings about healing for both of them.

Struggles with friends, parents, siblings, and community are all central elements to Ruby’s story, yet none feel preachy or like the reader is being taught a lesson. Instead, this book is full of hope, of learning to trust your instincts, and to believe in yourself and your community.

Li masterfully weaves several subplots into the primary plot, which keeps the story moving while providing time and space for Ruby’s reflection.

Ruby Lost and Found is available now. 

Thank you to author Christina Li, NetGalley, and HarperCollins Children’s Books for an advanced e-arc such that I could share my honest opinion.
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