End of the Alphabet
Having a dream and aiming for it ...gentle coming-of-age novel for girls by much-loved YA novelist Fleur Beale. Ruby Yarrow is a 14 year old who lives in a busy, loving, chaotic family with her mum, stepdad, brother and two little stepbrothers. Ruby feels a bit like a doormat - she has to help out while her brother doesn't. He wins lots of prizes at school but she has a learning difficulty and needs a reader/writer to help her in exams. What's more, her surname, Yarrow, is at the end of the alphabet and when the roll gets called out she's always at the end . She hates it. She feels she's always at the end of the line. Not that Ruby is a misery bag at all. She's bright, vibrant and a really neat character. She has great friends and loves clothes, fashion magazines and sewing, which she has a real knack for. She's very keen to go on the school trip to Brazil and so she gets a job to earn the money for her airfare, working in a supermarket for an old grump. She also learns a bit of Portuguese and meeting exchange students. Ruby doesn't get to go on the trip but she stands up to her parents, gets some backbone and starts to see herself in a much better light. There's even a bit of romance. This book is about having a dream and aiming for it. But it's not sentimental - it's a great read, very real and it has a lovely upbeat tone.
Shortlisted for Storylines Notable New Zealand Books: Young Adult Fiction 2010 and New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards: Senior Fiction 2010.
Fleur Beale is the author of 'The transformation of Minna Hargreaves' shortlisted for the NZ Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults 2008, and many other award-winning books - she has now had 28 books published here, with some of them also being published in Australia, the US and England.