“A book for anyone mending from childhood wounds.”—Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street

In this unforgettable multicultural coming-of-age narrative—based on the author’s childhood in the 1960s—a young Cuban-Jewish immigrant girl is adjusting to her new life in New York City when her American dream is suddenly derailed. Ruthie’s plight will intrigue readers, and her powerful story of strength and resilience, full of color, light, and poignancy, will stay with them for a long time.

Ruthie Mizrahi and her family recently emigrated from Castro’s Cuba to New York City. Just when she’s finally beginning to gain confidence in her mastery of English—and enjoying her reign as her neighborhood’s hopscotch queen—a horrific car accident leaves her in a body cast and confined her to her bed for a long recovery. As Ruthie’s world shrinks because of her inability to move, her powers of observation and her heart grow larger and she comes to understand how fragile life is, how vulnerable we all are as human beings, and how friends, neighbors, and the power of the arts can sweeten even the worst of times.

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published on April 11, 2017 by Nancy Paulsen Books
ISBN-10: 0399546448
ISBN-13: 9780399546440
18 Book Reviews
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  • mysterygal
    mysterygalTuesday, September 5, 2017 at 4:04 pm
    I enjoyed reading this book! If you are looking for a meaningful, quick read, I suggest this book. It is the story of a young girl, Ruthie, who has just moved into a small apartment in New York from Cuba. Finally beginning to settle in- making friends, getting into the "smart class", learning English, etc,- her family is caught in a horrible car accident. Ruthie is confined to a full-body cast. The rest is the story of how Ruthie learned to be patient and grateful for what she has, and the healing process of her and her family. :)
    • snowyowl
      snowyowlTuesday, August 29, 2017 at 6:30 pm55 stars
      This is my FAVOURITE BOOK in the WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      • princesspower2
        princesspower2Monday, August 7, 2017 at 2:34 pm
        This book is very good. Ruthie had just moved into america, when she and her family got into a car accident. Ruthie had a broken leg, and had to have a cast cover the lower half of her body. It is very hard for Ruthie, especially because she had been moved into the more advanced class at school, and she was supposed to join the smart kids the next day. I loved this book, thanks Dogo for giving it to me!! I really recommended this book!!
        • 5680saf
          5680safMonday, July 24, 2017 at 2:29 pm
          This book is about a girl named Ruthie. She is having a great life in America, until she gets into a car accident and has a cast cover her entire lower half of her body. As the book goes on, it shows how bravery and perseverance can let you do anything. You should read this book! It is such a good story.
          • avaiscool123
            avaiscool123Tuesday, June 13, 2017 at 6:29 am
            • unicorn992
              unicorn992Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at 8:11 pm
              LOVE THIS STORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This book is about Ruthie. Ruthie gets in a car crash and brakes her leg. This is a book about how she recovers. It is very heartfelt. it is also kinda sad. BUT I STILL LOVE IT!!!!!
              • ellsworth2424
                ellsworth2424Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at 12:36 pm55 stars
                I like everything about this book! The main character suffers from a terrible accident that leaves her unable to walk for a full year, but the book isn't completely sad. I like the way the family remembers their lives back in Cuba, making foods and following customs from their native land. I like the way the main character's family helps her through the accident and her recuperation. The book offers people in bad situations lots of hope. It's the type of book that just makes you feel good to read. I would recommend it.
                • Raven345Friday, June 2, 2017 at 7:37 pm
                  This book is beautiful and heart touching please go ahead and read it
                  • pipermc11
                    pipermc11Tuesday, May 30, 2017 at 5:27 pmFeatured
                    Ruthie is just a young girl living in New York City, trying to achieve the American dream until those dreams are put on the line after a car accident that leaves her very injured. The story follows Ruthie's journey to recovery, forgiveness, hope, and love. I loved this book so so much for not only the thought provoking bits and life lessons, but for the melting pots of cultures that were conveyed. Because this is largely based off of the author's own experience, it has a personal touch that couldn't have been added otherwise. First of all, the life lessons and thought provoking bits. I loved Ruthie and I think anyone could sympathize with her hopefulness and kindness. I also loved how her recovery process was used in such a way that Ruthie had to grow up fast and learned so many life lessons like forgiveness, following your dreams, etc. The one complaint I would have is that I felt that sometimes, because Ruthie was bedridden, the story dragged a little. I also loved the other main component I took away from the book, which is that America is a melting pot. One of her friends was Indian, another was fluent in French and English and was from Belgium, their apartment neighbor was from Mexico, and Ruthie's extended family (all Cuban) were featured heavily. I also loved how whenever these cultures were brought up, they were always very warm and celebrated their culture (her parents dancing, their culture of food, her friend's mother making pastries, etc.) and I felt like I learned something about each of the cultures. Ultimately, this book showed one girl's story of recovery while learning about forgiveness and hope, and was able to celebrate cultures from all over the world without making the book all about culture/religion. The book shows that you should always follow your dreams because in America, it's a melting pot- anyone can achieve anything.
                    • maddyp18
                      maddyp18Sunday, May 28, 2017 at 12:22 pm44 starsFeatured
                      Ruthie Mizrahi has only just arrived in America from Cuba, and she's already fitting in among her classmates. She's also the best at hopscotch in her neighborhood. Even though she misses Cuba, she's embracing life in America, and she's a friend to everyone. But then she brakes her leg in a tragic car accident, and she's confined to her bed. But even though Ruthie is stuck in a body cast in bed, she still looks on the bright side of things. She makes new friends while stuck in bed, and spends her most of her time reading and painting, things she almost never did before the accident. Ruthie is healing, physically and emotionally. This book is really touching, and you'll sympathize with Ruthie the whole way. I really love how Ruthie is such a fighter, and how she's not going to let anyone boss her around. I think the lesson in this story is to embrace your fears, because Ruthie really has to be brave when she learns how to walk with the leg she broke in the accident. Ruthie also shows you that you to forgive, and to hope against all odds. Enjoy this amazing story!

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