Ruby and the Booker Boys: Brand New School, Brave New Ruby

by Derrick Barnes and Vanessa Brantly Newton (illustrator)

Scholastic Paperbacks

Ruby Marigold Booker is fabulous: Her favorite color is grape-jelly purple; she's got an iguana named Lady Love; she can sing like nobody's business, and; when she grows up, she plans to be the most famous animal doctor on the planet. But she's got to make it through the first day of school at Hope Road Academy, where her three big brothers run things. Tyner, Marcellus, and Ro are smart, funny, and athletic and musically-inclined, and they've got serious reps as The Booker Boys. But Ruby? Well, she's just their little sister. Not for long though. When Ruby schemes to hijack the school PA system and belt a tune for the entire school, it's clear she doesn't intend to be the little sis for long.

Oh, the sheer joy that is Ruby, who, in the capable hands of author Derrick Barnes and illustrator Vanessa Brantley Newton, is a spirited, colorful, adorable little character that absolutely charmed my daughters. They loved her spunk and spirit and crazy antics. I loved that Ruby's got a family, school, and community that adores and supports her, and that she serves up a fantastic example of what it means to square your shoulders and find your way out of other people's spotlight and into your own. Even better, in the true tradition of the Ramona, Junie B. Jones, and Judy Moody series, Ruby and the Booker Boys has its own series of books, including Trivia Queen, 3rd Grade Supreme, and The Slumber Party Payback. A fourth, Ruby Flips For Attention, comes out in January ˜09. Ages 7 to 11 can read the Ruby books on their own; younger children will love having the story read to them.

To enhance your child's reading experience:

¢ Help her write a short story about her first day at school

¢ Have him draw a picture of himself doing something he's good at, or something that he loves about himself.


Win in the entire Ruby and the Booker Boys series, autographed by the author, Derrick Barnes! Imagine that: Three books featuring a character your child will flip for, with the personalized autograph of the writer who penned them. These paperback books can be purchased for $4.99 a piece, but Derrick Barnes's autograph is priceless.

Here's how you enter: Visit Derrick Barnes's website, then come back to MyBrownBaby and leave a comment about something you learned about Ruby or Derrick by 11:59 p.m. EST on Sunday, November 16, 2008.

Want to enter more than once? Boost your chances of winning by completing one or more tasks on this list:

If you haven't already, sign up for MyBrownBaby's email updates by 11:59 p.m. EST on Sunday, November 16, 2008. To be eligible, you must verify your email subscription when Feedburner sends you a verification email. Your entry will be invalid if you do not verify. If you would prefer to get MyBrownBaby updates via an MBB RSS feed, please leave a comment letting me know you've done so, and include an email address, as RSS subscribers are anonymous.

Buy one or more of the Ruby books on Amazon, and email a copy of your confirmation order to

Blog about MyBrownBaby and post a link to your blog entry here.

Fave MyBrownBaby on Technorati. After you do this, come back to MyBrownBaby to leave a comment with your Technorati user name so that I can verify it.

See? That means each of you can receive up to 5 entries. A winner will be chosen via, and contacted via email. This contest is available to U.S. mailing addresses only.

Well what are you waiting for? Go ahead Ruby is waiting!

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  1. Renée aka Mekhismom

    This sounds like a great book. Will you let us know the age range for each Brown Baby Book highlighted? Thanks!

  2. Denene…you are as sweet as sweet can be. I appreciate the contest. And I hope your regular visitors enjoy the books and tell ALL of their friends about the sries and even more so about My Brown Baby.

    I love it!

    much, much love

  3. I have a 6 year old brand new reader. At that age the pictures mean just as much as the story. He saw the book Low down bad day blues by Mr. Barnes and was excited to read it and lived the look of the boy on the cover. I instantly became a true fan.

  4. Love your book review…glad there is another blogger reviewing great children’s books too! I’ll check out Grace for President you recommended. I’m always looking for wonderful kids books that teach girls they can “conquer anything!” Maybe your daughters and mine could all be President someday! LOL

  5. Jennae @ Green Your Decor

    You made my day with this giveaway, lady! Here’s what I learned, and was impressed by: Derrick Barnes was the first African-American man to become a staff copywriter for Hallmark Cards in 1999. Impressive! I can’t wait to read the Ruby books to my daughter, even if I don’t win 🙂

  6. Jennae @ Green Your Decor

    Linked to you in my weekly link love series:

    I actually came here to get the link to your First Family post when I saw the giveaway. Lucky me, that link is also giving me a second entry 🙂

  7. Jennae @ Green Your Decor

    I faved you on Technorati yesterday. User name: greenyourdecor

  8. This sounds like one cool book, and I am flipping over the illustrations on the cover. I know the entire collection must be amazing. I definitely plan to add it to my daughter’s collection.

  9. The Arthur Clan

    Just from your description, I thought my daughter would love these books. Then I went to the author’s website and learned that Ruby has three brothers just like my little gal!

    As a mom, I appreciate that the author is so focused on conveying a positive message to kids. Looks like a truly great read.

  10. The Arthur Clan

    I’ve also added my email address to your feedburner. You really are sweet to offer this giveaway to your readers!

  11. Now you know I’m already subscribed via feedreader!

  12. Christie-A Work In Progress

    What a cute book! Definitely going to look into it! I am also a subscriber via Google Reader…does that count?

  13. This appears to be a great addition to any children’s book collection. I like that fact that Derrick was inspired as a child and found it again as an adult. I can relate 🙂 Great giveaway.

  14. Michele@Integrated Mother

    I bought a Ruby book a few weeks agao for my daughter (age 7). She loves it and devoured it within 2-3 days. She tells me that Ruby wants to be a rockstar in the first book she read.

    I’m subscribed to MyBrownBaby via Bloglines.

    You’ve been faved on Technorati:

    Hope we win. My daughter would be so happy to receive more Ruby books!

  15. I love that Derrick is teaching our children to shoot for the stars and be different. You can aspire to be more than just a rapper or athlete.

    His books are going to make great Christmas gifts.

  16. Eight year old Ruby Marigold Booker uses her style, charisma, talent, and all out girl power to make it in a household full of boys.
    brownatural at gmail dot com

  17. I subscribe to your blog emails and I have verified.
    brownatural at gmail dot com

  18. Tweeted (@brownatural)
    brownatural at gmail dot com

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