Laura Ruby

Young Adult Novelist
National Book Award Finalist
Travels from: Chicago, IL

“This is such a good story for a child dealing with the situation of a parent remarrying.” – Amy Tobalske, Walker Memorial Library, Westbrook

Laura Ruby writes fiction for adults, teens and children. She is the author of the Printz Medal Winning novel Bone Gap, as well as the novel Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All, both National Book Award Finalists. Other works include the Edgar-nominated children’s mystery Lily’s Ghost, the ALA Quick Pick for teens Good Girls (2006), a collection of interconnected short stories about blended families for adults, I’m Not Julia Roberts (2007), and the York trilogy. She is on the faculty of Hamline University’s Masters in Writing for Children Program. She makes her home in the Chicago area.

Laura has been a featured speaker at BookExpo, The American Library Association’s national convention, the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) annual convention, the Miami Book Festival, the Florida Association of Media Educators (FAME) convention, the Midwest Literary Festival, the International Reading Association’s annual convention, and the Illinois Reading Council annual conference, among other venues, and she has presented programs and workshops for both adults and children at numerous schools and libraries.

Laura’s Authors Out Loud Profile: 

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Me and Ms. Too

Balzer + Bray |
Children’s

National Book Award finalist Laura Ruby and New York Times-bestselling illustrator Dung Ho bring us an unforgettable story of the many different ways in which families are made and the beautiful, unknowable, magical things that hold them together.

For as long as Molly can remember, it’s always just been her and Dad. Dad, who likes to splash in the pool, who likes to spin at the park, who bakes the best cookies around.

But that was before Dad married Ms. Too.

Ms. Too doesn’t like to splash. She doesn’t like to spin. And she can’t bake anything.

“But Molly, you used to love Ms. Too.”

That was before, when she was Molly’s favorite librarian. Now everything has changed.

But as Molly and Ms. Too are about to discover, maybe change isn’t always scary. Maybe change can be the best thing of all.

York: The Clockwork Ghost

Walden Pond Press |
Middle Reader Book

National Book Award finalist Laura Ruby returns with the middle chapter in her epic alternate-history adventure—a journey that will test Tess, Theo, and Jaime and change their lives forever.

It was only a few weeks ago that the Biedermann twins, Tess and Theo, along with their friend Jaime Cruz, followed the secrets of the Morningstarrs’ cipher further than anyone had in its century-and a-half history—and destroyed their beloved home in the process.

But the Old York Cipher still isn’t solved. The demolition of 354 W. 73rd Street only revealed the next clue in the greatest mystery of the modern world, and if Tess, Theo, and Jaime want to discover what lies at the end of the puzzle laid into the buildings of New York by its brilliant, enigmatic architects, they will need to press on.

But doing so could prove even more dangerous than they know. It is clear that the Morningstarr twins marshaled all the strange technology they had spent their lives creating in the construction of the Cipher, and that technology has its own plans for those who pursue it.

It’s also clear that Tess, Theo, and Jaime are not the only ones on the trail of the treasure. As enemies both known and unknown close in on them from all sides and the very foundations of the city seem to crumble around them, they will have to ask themselves how far they will go to change the unchangeable—and whether the price of knowing the secrets of the Morningstarrs is one they are willing to pay.

York: The Shadow Cipher

Walden Pond Press |
YA Novel

“The pleasures of the novel go far beyond the crackling, breathless plot and the satisfaction of watching the puzzle fall into place. The book is shot through with humor, both laugh-out-loud and subtle.” New York Times Book Review

From National Book Award finalist and Printz Award winner Laura Ruby comes an epic alternate history series about three kids who try to solve the greatest mystery of the modern world: a puzzle and treasure hunt laid into the very streets and buildings of New York City.

 

It was 1798 when the Morningstarr twins arrived in New York with a vision for a magnificent city: towering skyscrapers, dazzling machines, and winding train lines, all running on technology no one had ever seen before.

Fifty-seven years later, the enigmatic architects disappeared, leaving behind for the people of New York the Old York Cipher—a puzzle laid into the shining city they constructed, at the end of which was promised a treasure beyond all imagining. By the present day, however, the puzzle has never been solved, and the greatest mystery of the modern world is little more than a tourist attraction.

Tess and Theo Biedermann and their friend Jaime Cruz live in a Morningstarr apartment—until a real estate developer announces that the city has agreed to sell him the five remaining Morningstarr buildings. Their likely destruction means the end of a dream long held by the people of New York.

And if Tess, Theo, and Jaime want to save their home, they have to prove that the Old York Cipher is real. Which means they have to solve it.

“An epic mission to solve one of the greatest mysteries of their time. I loved this book. It is full of twists and turns” (from the Brightly.com review, which named York: The Shadow Cipher one of the best books of 2017).

Bone Gap

Balzer + Bray |
YA Novel

National Book Award Finalist * Printz Award Winner for Best Young Adult Book of the Year

“Ruby’s novel deserves to be read and reread. It is powerful, beautiful, extraordinary.”—School Library Journal

Everyone knows Bone Gap is full of gaps.

So when young, beautiful Roza went missing, the people of Bone Gap weren’t surprised. But Finn knows what really happened to Roza. He knows she was kidnapped by a dangerous man whose face he cannot remember.

As we follow the stories of Finn, Roza, and the people of Bone Gap, acclaimed author Laura Ruby weaves a tale of the ways in which the face the world sees is never the sum of who we are.

Bad Apple

HarperTeen |
Young Adult

“If I really wanted to open up, I’d confess that I really am the liar everyone believes I am.”

Everyone thinks Tola Riley is crazy. Everyone except Mr. Mymer, her art teacher. He doesn’t care about her green hair, or nose ring—and he gets her paintings and lets her hang out in the art room during lonely lunch periods.

Although Tola likes to keep to herself, when rumors start flying about an affair between her and Mr. Mymer, she is suddenly at the center of a scandal. The whole town is judging her—even her family. When Mr. Mymer is suspended, she has no choice but to break her silence. The question is, will anyone believe her?

Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume

Gallery Books |
Nonfiction

“I wonder if Judy Blume really knows how many girls’ lives she affected. I wonder if she knows that at least one of her books made a grown woman finally feel like she’d been a normal girl all along…”
—from Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume

Whether laughing to tears reading Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great or clamoring for more unmistakable “me too!” moments in Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, girls all over the world have been touched by Judy Blume’s poignant coming-of-age stories. Now, in this anthology of essays, twenty-four notable female authors write straight from the heart about the unforgettable novels that left an indelible mark on their childhoods and still influence them today. After growing up from Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing into Smart Women, these writers pay tribute, through their reflections and most cherished memories, to one of the most beloved authors of all time.

Ten Myths About Writers and Writing (for kids and teens)

There's a Monster at the End of This Book: Fear and the Storyteller

Sing: Helping Students Find Their Voices

The Subject of the Sentence: Character and Culture

You Are Here: World Building in Fiction

Written on the Body: Emotion in Fiction

Activity-based writing workshops (for kids, teens, or adults)

What Makes YA, YA

Creativity in a Time of Chaos (political upheaval, personal upheaval)

Laura’s Upcoming Events

Honors, Awards & Recognition

National Book Award Finalist
Amazon Best YA Novel of 2019
New York Times Best YA Novel of 2019
Chicago Public Library Best of the Best
NPR Best YA Novel of 2019
Booklist Best YA Novel of 2019
SLJ Best YA Novel of 2019
Shelf Awareness Best YA Novel of 2019
Book Page’s #1 YA Novel of 2019
18 State Awards
A Kirkus Best Book of 2018 – Middle-Grade
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2018 – Middle-Grade
A Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best Books of 2018
An Amazon Best Book – October 2018
A CCBC Choices List Pick – 2019

Media Kit

By clicking the link below your will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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