When the lights go dim and you're sitting in the dark with your popcorn -- that's the magic time that Ruby Miller loves best. And then the music creeps in, and the lion roars, or maybe the moon kid goes fishing.... For Ruby, age twelve and a half, movies are better than real life. The ones she writes, why, those are the best of all. Those stories work out. The dads in her movies always show up when they've promised. The moms don't hold on to secrets. The little brothers don't curl up with sorrow over some missing stuffed animal. All right, it's Ruby's fault he's missing. But the terrible red-painted graffiti on the concrete riverbanks -- it that her fault too? She's blamed for it. And here she is on a chain gang with two stupid classmates -- the Dumb and Dumber of the Hayes Middle School -- doing community service to make up for it. If she were writing the script, the setup would be intriguing, the middle exciting, and the ending a complete and happy surprise. She has seven pages ready for Spielberg. But real life keeps interrupting.
Theresa Nelson has written eight books for young readers, and at least six as-of-yet-unproduced screenplays. Four of her novels have been cited as Best Books of the Year by School Library Journal: The 25¢ Miracle, And One for All, The Beggar’s Ride, and Earthshine, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book. She lives in Los Angeles, California, and is married to actor Kevin Cooney. They are the parents of three grown sons.
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (December 1, 2004)