Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Laura Ruby  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult; Young Adult; Children;

Born: in New Jersey

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Illinois Connection

Ruby currently lives in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Laura Ruby is on the faculty of Hamline University's Masters in Writing for Children Program. She also writes fiction for adults, young adults and children. Her young adult and children's books ''Lily's Ghosts'', ''The Wall and the Wing'' and ''Good Girls'' have garnered her many awards and nominations which are listed below. ''The Wall and The Wing'' has also been optioned for a major animated feature by Laika Studios.

Ruby's short fiction stories for adults have appeared in numerous literary magazines, including ''Other Voices'', ''The Florida Review'', ''Literal Latté'', ''Sycamore Review'' and ''Nimrod''. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her adult short fiction. A collection of these stories appear in her book ''I'm Not Julia Roberts''.


Lily's Ghosts

Parent's Choice Silver Honor for Fiction, 2003

The Center for Children's Books Best Books List, 2003

Best of the Best, Chicago Public Library

Books for the Teenage List, New York Public Library

Sunshine State Award Book, Florida

State Award, Rhode Island

The Wall and the Wing

Book for the Teen Age List, New York Public Library

Good Girls

Book Sense Pick, 2006

Quick Pick, American Library Association, 2007

Top Ten Books, Reading Rants, 2006

Books for the Teenage, New York Public Library's

ILLINOIS READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2014

Bone Gap

Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature, American Library Association, 2016

Starred Review, Booklist

Starred Review, Kirkus

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

Starred Review, Voya

Finalist, National Book Award, 2015

ILLINOIS READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2016

YORK: The Shadow Cipher

ILLINOIS READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2018

Thirteen Doorways

Starred Review, ALA Booklist

Starred Review, School Library Journal

Finalist, National Book Award

Best YA Novel of the Year, Amazon, 2019

Best YA Novel of the Year, New York Times, 2019

Best of the Best, Chicago Public Library

Best YA Novel of the Year, NPR, 2019

Best YA Novel of the Year, Booklist, 2019

Best YA Novel of the Year, SLJ, 2019

Best YA Novel of the Year, Shelf Awareness, 2019

#1 YA Novel of the Year, Book Page, 2019

ILLINOIS READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2020

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

Selected Titles At Your Library

Bad apple
ISBN: 9780061243332. OCLC Number: 704915004

HarperTeen,. .

Tola Riley, a high school junior, struggles to tell the truth when she and her art teacher are accused of having an affair.

Bone Gap /
ISBN: 0062317601. OCLC Number: 878953476

. .

Eighteen-year-old Finn, an outsider in his quiet Midwestern town, is the only witness to the abduction of town favorite Roza, but his inability to distinguish between faces makes it difficult for him to help with the investigation, and subjects him to even more ridicule and bullying.

Everything I needed to know about being a girl I learned from Judy Blume /
ISBN: 1416531041. OCLC Number: 137238703

Pocket Books,. .

Whether laughing to tears or clamoring for more unmistakable "me too!" moments, girls all over the world have been touched by Judy Blume's poignant coming-of-age stories. Now, in this anthology of essays, 24 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.--From publisher description.

Good girls /
ISBN: 0060882239. OCLC Number: 63187390

HarperTempest,. .

Sixteen-year-old high school senior Audrey is humiliated when a compromising photograph of her is sent around her school, but she discovers a toughness within her that she never knew she had.

I'm not Julia Roberts
ISBN: 9780446578745. OCLC Number: 64442891

Warner Books,. .

A wicked, ironic daisy chain of failed relationships and equally doomed marriages undertaken in a fever hotter than a pepper sprout, this novel is set in a fictional Illinois suburb where all the men are weak, all the women ride broomsticks, and all the children are below average ... and still, somehow, there are hearts, if not flowers.

Lily's Ghosts
ISBN: 9780983310839. OCLC Number: 988574887

. .

Thirteen-year-old Lily is furious.She and her mother are forced to move again after her mother's break up with the latest loser boyfriend. Now they're broke and they'll have to spend the winter in Uncle Wes's creepy house in Cape May, New Jersey.And the place is crawling with ghosts.From the spiteful teenager who mistakes Lily for her high school nemesis to the restless spirit of her eccentric Uncle Max, Lily is haunted by a host of unhappy phantoms. But why are they here? And what do they want?With the help of an intriguing new guy, local boy Vaz, Lily tries to find out. But just as they are on the verge of piecing together the mystery, a casual family dinner turns into a beachfront showdown with guests both invited and unexpected, both corporal and supernatural. And the outcome is anything but certain.*An Edgar Award Nominee for Best Juvenile Mystery*A Parent's Choice Silver Honor for Fiction*The Center for Children's Books Best Books of 2003 List*One of the Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best*One of the New York Public Library's Books for the Teenage*A Sunshine State Award Book*A Garden State Book Award Nominee*A Rhode Island State Award NomineeA slightly spooky, romantic mystery. Her often funny story, peppered with ghostly interludes, is capped by that rarest of animals: a twist ending that is totally earned. This should be a movie just so tweens and teens will come ask for the book. Place it in their hands; they will likely thank you.--KirkusRuby doesn't horrify so much as she insinuates in gracefully nuanced language that provides chilling support for the action. Make room for this first novel on the surefire ghost tale shelf.--The Bulletin of the Center for Children's BooksSharp-witted narrative and lively characterizations... intriguing--Publishers WeeklyA fast-paced, comic tale.--Pittsburgh Post-GazetteSure to delight the reader, will tickle readers' funny bones.--Detroit Free PressReaders will keep turning pages to get to the (surprise) ending, but also because they'll be rooting for something good to happen to Lily.--Miami HeraldA cast of eccentric characters plays out this intriguing story. Readers will be hooked right up to the surprising ending.--School Library Journal

Play me
ISBN: 9780061884627. OCLC Number: 877900157

HarperTeen,. .

Eddy knows how to play the game. He is, after all, the writer, director, and cameraman'the mastermind, really'behind the hit online TV show Riot Grrl 16. When it wins a contest to be aired on MTV (and it obviously will'have you seen the competition'), he'll be famous. Then there's the game of love. Eddy knows all the tricks, and his favorite girls are the ones with the fishnets and cherry lipstick and legs up to there. The ones who know he doesn't make any promises. The ones who are cool with it. But as graduation looms, everything and everyone starts deviating from Eddy's master script. Never in a million years did he expect to be facing off again with the unapproachable, perfect Lucinda Dulko. For once in his life, he's not in control'and to be with Lucinda, he's willing to get swept up in the game. But what happens to a player when the rules suddenly change' Can Eddy find a way to win it all' Or will he get played'

The chaos king
ISBN: 9780060752583. OCLC Number: 122309000

Eos,. .

Thirteen-year-old Georgie and Bug, a year older, have been pulled apart by the demands of their newfound fame and fortune, but join forces again when a punk, vampires, a giant sloth, and other creatures come after them on the streets of a New York City of the future.

The Wall and the Wing
ISBN: 9780060752576. OCLC Number: 61451492

Eos,. .

In a future New York where most people can fly and cats are a rarity, a nondescript resident of Hope House for the Homeless and Hopeless discovers that although she is shunned as a leadfoot, she has the surprising ability to become invisible.

ISBN: 0062317644. OCLC Number: 1080587543

. .

When Frankie's mother died and her father left her and her siblings at an orphanage in Chicago, it was supposed to be only temporary--just long enough for him to get back on his feet and be able to provide for them once again. That's why she is not prepared for the day when he arrives for his weekend visit with a new woman on his arm and out-of-state train tickets in his pocket.

Now Frankie and her sister, Toni, are abandoned to the orphanage, two young, unwanted women doing everything they can to survive. And as the embers of the Great Depression are kindled into the fires of World War II, and the shadows of injustice, poverty, and death walk the streets in broad daylight, Frankie must find something worth holding on to in the ruins of this shattered America--every minute of every day spent wondering if the life she is able to carve out will be enough.

I will admit I do not know if it will be. But I will be watching, waiting to find out.

That's what ghosts do.

YORK: Shadow Cypher
ISBN: 0062306936. OCLC Number: 957301891

. .

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 house -- 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.