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The Beat on Ruby's Street — Synopsis

The last thing Ruby Tabeata expected on her way to a reading by Jack Kerouac was to be hauled into the police station. Only a few weeks shy of her twelfth birthday on April 12, 1958, Ruby lives in Greenwich Village and dreams of meeting the famous poets of her time while writing her own poetry. Instead, she is accused of trying to steal fruit from a local vendor.

At the station, Ruby is handed over to Mrs. Levitt, a social worker who asks Ruby to find her mother. Instead, Ruby escapes, but is later found and brought to her mother’s studio. Mrs. Levitt is shocked by what she finds there, and vows to pay a home visit to Ruby’s family. Meanwhile Ruby goes to a party and meets a mysterious Beat who invites her to a reading on the same day as her birthday.

A few days later, Mrs. Levitt visits Ruby’s apartment, which seems dark and dirty to the social worker. When Mrs. Levitt finds Ruby’s mother Nell is not legally married, Nell tries to flee with Ruby. Instead, Mrs. Levitt forces Ruby to leave and enter a children’s home.

When she arrives, Ruby has to fight off a bully and her own panic at the thought of never seeing her family again. Her luck changes with the help of a surprising new friend who gives Ruby the courage to do what she has to do to get back home. Once there, she uncovers a family secret that means life as she knows it will never be the same. Lost and lonely on her birthday, Ruby decides to follow her heart to find the one thing she needs with the power to help her heal.

Read the first chapter of The Beat on Ruby's Street.


The Beat on Ruby's Street
Visit the Beat Street blog
Listen to a book excerpt (mp3)
Synopsis
Reader's Guide
Fascinating Authors Interview: Jenna Zark

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