Ruby in the Ruins

Publisher: Walker Books

Review

Ruby and her mum have survived World War Two, cuddling up in Mum’s bed together and listening to their fragile terraced house shudder as the Blitz rages around them.

Now, some other childrens’ dads are coming home, and Ruby and her friends play on the dangerous but exciting bomb sites in their neighbourhood.

When Ruby’s Dad finally comes home, Ruby is shy of him: Dad takes up so much space and she’s forgotten what it’s like to have him in the house. Plus, she’s relegated to the draughty attic room, which isn’t as cosy as sharing with Mum.

But when Ruby gets hurt playing in the bomb site, it’s Dad that comes to help, and Ruby realises she’s glad he’s home after all.

Shirley Hughes’ touching tale of the aftermath of World War Two is told simply and with sensitivity to the feelings of a little girl whose whole life so far has been lived against the violence and uncertainty of bombing, austerity and fear.

A perfect picture book to use with younger ones when talking about World War Two, armistice and how families coped during the Blitz.

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