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''.

Published Works

    Books for Kids
  • The Wall and the Wing, HarperCollins, 2006
  • The Chaos King, HarperCollins, 2007
  • Lily's Ghosts, HarperCollins, 2011
  • York, Walden Pond Press, 2017Books for Teens
  • Good Girls, HarperCollins, 2006
  • Play Me, HarperTeen, 2008
  • Bad Apple, HarperTeen, 2009
  • Bone Gap, Balzer + Bray, 2015Books for Adults
  • Everything I Wanted to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume, Pocket, 2006
  • I'm Not Julia Roberts, Warner Books, 2007

Selected Titles At Your Library

The Wall and the Wing /
ISBN: 0060752572. OCLC Number:

Eos,. New York :. ©2006.

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.

The chaos king /
ISBN: 0060752580. OCLC Number:

Eos,. New York :. ©2007.

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.

Lily's ghosts /
ISBN: 0060518316. OCLC Number:

HarperCollins,. New York :. ©2003.

Strange goings-on at her great-uncle's summer home in Cape May, New Jersey, draw Lily and a new friend into a mystery involving lost treasure, a fake medium, and ghosts of all sizes, shapes, and dispositions.

ISBN: 0062306936. OCLC Number:

. .

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.

Good girls /
ISBN: 0060882239. OCLC Number:

HarperTempest,. New York :. ©2006.

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.

Play me /
ISBN: 0061243272. OCLC Number:

HarperTeen,. New York, NY :. ©2008.

Disappointed when he does not get the MTV production deal he so wants, high school senior Eddy leaves his girlfriend to take a road trip to find the mother who has left him and his younger stepbrother and taken a bit part in a television show.

Bad apple /
ISBN: 0061243302. OCLC Number:

HarperTeen,. New York :. ©2009.

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:

. .

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:

Pocket Books,. New York :. 2007.

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.

I'm not Julia Roberts /
ISBN: 0446578746. OCLC Number:

Warner Books,. New York :. 2007.

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

  • 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

  • Starred Review, Booklist
  • Starred Review, Kirkus
  • Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
  • Starred Review, Voya
  • National Book Award Finalist, 2015
  • Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature, American Library Association, 2016
  • ILLINOIS READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2016

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

    For grades 4-8 Laura offers

    The Truth About the Writing Life

    , a humorous and informative presentation about writers and writing. Laura talks about the process involved in writing her novels

    Lily's Ghost


    The Wall and the Wing

    . She also discusses the work of other well-known authors and offers a question and answer session afterwards. For Adults Laura can give talks on numerous topics to librarians, teachers, book clubs, and other writers. Presentations can be tailored to audience individual needs, so please contact Laura for more information.