Friday 10 November 2023

Ruby and the Pen

Ruby and the Pen written by David Lawrence, illustrated by Cherie Dignam (EK Books) PB RRP $16.99 ISBN 9781922539380

Reviewed by Sarah Tegerdine

Imagine buying a mysterious gold pen from a flea market to discover that it’s magical, and whatever you draw with it comes true? Well, that’s exactly what David Lawrence and Cherie Dignam have skillfully and playfully produced with Ruby and the Pen.

This is the story of Ruby, a 12-year-old girl with a brilliant talent for drawing cartoons, but her life is filled with up-hill battles and she is surrounded by bullies. Whether it is her mother’s boyfriend or the girls at her boarding school, life has become really challenging since the passing of her father.

It doesn’t take long before she realises the power that she wields with just a few simple strokes which ultimately brings its own unique set of problems and dilemmas. Initially, it’s great fun but Ruby is tested acutely and the good friendships she has curated are pushed to breaking point when moral values are breached.

Ruby and the Pen is filled with comedy and heart, combined with Cherie’s black and white illustrations which are lively and dynamic. Young readers are going to thoroughly enjoy the first book in this new series.

Recommended for readers aged 9 yrs and over.

The second book in the series, Xander and the Pen is due out in November 2023. 

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