Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 3 - 8W4.249919
“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
21 Book Reviews
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  • Vicky Tuesday, August 28, 2018 at 5:04 pm
    I personally didn’t like this book too much at the beginning because it is just talking about Ruthie’s normal life, which is not very interesting. Then, Ruthie gets in a car accident and breaks her leg. She goes through a lot, like having to stay on her bed for almost an entire year. She needs her mom to help her go to the bathroom, and she can’t go to school or play outside. By the end, she recovers, and she finds out that everything wasn’t so bad after all. Toward the end of the book, it gets more interesting because we see Ruthie face her fears, which makes her stronger. Finally, we get to see what her new life looks like.
    • sugar_andspice
      sugar_andspiceFriday, February 16, 2018 at 7:16 am55 stars
      The reason I love this book is that it explores Ruthie's world in a vivid way. When you picture Ruth Behar's point of view as a child, you see color and fun. This autobiography is great and I recommend that you read it.
      • domosaur
        domosaurSaturday, January 20, 2018 at 9:37 am55 stars
        Ruthie is an ordinary girl who just moved to America. She loves hopscotch and Gogo boots and is determined to stay the neighborhood's hopscotch queen. When her dad gets a blue Oldsmobile, Ruthie is anything but depressed. She eagerly waits for the first ride, and it's a blast! Unfortunately, the car gets into a car crash on the way home, leaving Ruthie in a full body cast. This cast confines her to the bed for months, not able to move. At first, Ruthie mourns her loss and hates life, but gradually, she makes new friends and becomes happier. This book is for anyone who loves a sad but happy book, or enjoys a good adventure. I give this book 5 stars!
        • 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.