Diamond Ruby

 
0.0
 
5.0 (7)
1994 0
Diamond Ruby
Publisher
Age Range
12+
Release Date
May 04, 2010
ISBN
1439160058
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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn meets Ragtime in this novel set in the Roaring 20's about a girl who can out-pitch any major league baseball player.

User reviews

7 reviews

 
(7)
4 stars
 
(0)
3 stars
 
(0)
2 stars
 
(0)
1 star
 
(0)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0  (7)
Characters 
 
5.0  (7)
Writing Style 
 
4.9  (7)
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A Girl That Can Hurl in the Twenties
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Diamond Ruby is a great read in general but it will appeal especially to feminists, history buffs, and baseball lovers.
Good Points
Diamond Ruby by Joseph Wallace, a historical fiction baseball novel, was published by Touchstone in 2010. Diamond Ruby is a page-turner. It is full of suspense, and Wallace keeps you wondering what will happen in the main character’s life. The plot takes you into the world of 17 year-old Ruby Thomas, who is left in charge of her two young nieces when everyone else dies from influenza. She is looking for ways to support her family. She can throw a baseball 90 miles per hour and becomes a new “freak show” attraction at the recently opened Boardwalk at Coney Island. After her first boss dies, her new boss overworks Ruby. She escapes this fate when the Connell family takes her in, and she agrees to pitch for Colonel Fielding’s new baseball team, the Brooklyn Typhoons. The Ku Klux Klan is after Ruby (because she is half Jewish and half Catholic and they don’t think she is pure American), and it is unclear how she will escape them! The very impressive 1920’s New York City setting is rich with history. The city comes to life with real life athletes, such as baseball player Babe Ruth and professional boxer Jack Dempsey. The newly opened Coney Island provides a colorful setting for the Diamond Ruby “freak show.” The historical vibe is complete with many illegal things going on such as prohibition liquor sales, the rise of the Ku Klux Klan in New York City, and the threat caused by gamblers and “fixers.” The suspense is incredible in Diamond Ruby. Wallace keeps you wondering if the dangerous fixers or the Ku Klux Klan will kill Ruby. It is hard to put the novel down when wondering if her new boss will overwork her and her arm will be damaged? Will she have enough money to feed her family and keep them safe? Will her nieces be harmed?
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Diamond ruby a girl to look up too
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
This story has the strongest kind of character I've ever read in a story. Who says the hero always has to be male? With ruby thomas she has just as much strength, courage, and intelligence as any other "hero". She's stuck in the bustling city of New York unsure of how she is ever going to provide for her two young nieces while she herself is still just a teenager. But she rises above that and takes more responsibility than what you would see for someone her age back then. Her loyalty to both girls and her baseball team keep you reading until the end. Even though this book is about baseball it's not like a girl can get into the story so please don't mistake this for a girl book with a male dominant sport. Through and through ruby proves my point by being a baseball player even though she's a female.
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Diamond Ruby by Joseph Wallace
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Teenage Ruby Thomas is suddenly in charge of her two young nieces, after their family is hit hard during the 1918 Spanish Influenza epidemic. For months she looks for jobs and kills birds and squirrels so that they can eat at least one meal a day. She is determined to keep her girls safe in the bustle and crowd of the noisy New York City. For a 17-year-old girl, Ruby possesses one rare skill; she can throw a ball as fast as some of the best major league pitchers. That skill is what brings her out to Coney Island, where she gets her first real job as a sideshow. But when her wonderful manager is killed, an alcohol dealer replaces him and begins to abuse Ruby and her girls. Ruby escapes the hands of her manager and goes to live with one of her friends. A couple weeks later she signs a deal to pitch for the Brooklyn Typhoons as the only woman ever to pitch on a male team. Ruby soon finds herself trying to find her way through the maze of tricksters, rumrunners and gangsters that come with her ride to fame. She receives threats from the Ku Klux Klan, newspapers and individuals who do not like the idea of a female pitcher. Numerous times violence and death come knocking at her door, but Ruby uses her intelligence and bravery to outwit the sneaky gangsters. Through it all Ruby pitches her heart out for her team and never fails to impress.

Diamond Ruby by Joseph Wallace was an amazing novel that had me hooked right from the beginning. This book is actually partially based on a true story about a girl named Jackie Mitchell, who pitched for the Chattanooga Lookouts and struck out both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.

Joseph Wallace puts great detailed language into his novel, so that you can really hear the roar of the crowd, or smell the New York air. “The crowd erupted into deafening cheers.” Wallace does a fantastic job with the main character Ruby, who is always on her toes and ready to pitch a great game or run from a mob of gangsters. Headstrong and unbelievably smart, Ruby is wound tightly into this complex story. “Before she could even take a breath, he had yanked her to her feet by one arm and shoved her into the dressing room. As he slammed the door behind them, Ruby heard Allie start to wail.” This book is very deep and sometimes kind of dark. Ruby has to make tons and tons of decisions where either way someone could possibly get hurt, or either way she could lose her job. But there are also many happy parts to this book, like Ruby’s first game with the Typhoon’s or when Ruby takes the girls to a fair, when they first move into her friend’s house. On a scale of one to five, I would give this book a five, because I thought that it was an unbelievable book and I love to read books about women (in the times before they were considered equal to men) who defy their “boundaries” in life.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction about baseball and can stand some depressing or intense parts in the story. Enjoy the maze of trickery, baseball, sickness and family that bring this fantastic book together.

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Far more than just a book about sports
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
This book is a great read. It has all the history of a female performing in a male dominated world of baseball. The author has a great way of informing the mind with detailed characters and a fluid writing style. I am in my early 30's and this book brought me back to when I was a kid. Please read this book....such a fun read.
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Diamond Ruby by Joe Wallace
(Updated: January 13, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Absolutely would recommend this to any reader, but especially to reluctant readers looking for a story that is really out of the ordinary. Ruby is a character not soon forgotten. The book is well written, easy to follow, and fun to read.
Good Points
This gem of a book caught me right from the get go. It spans a period of history that is under represented in YA literature, (1920's-30's) with great characters and a few nice twists. The book has depth, the characters are lovable or detestable in kind, and there is suspense, intrigue, and a lot of laughs as well. My daughter and I read this together. This was her comment: "I really like baseball, but all the baseball books before were about boys! This one was fun for me to read, and I liked Ruby so much. It was a great book, and I recommended it to my teacher and some friends at school, too."
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Not just a baseball book!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
A story that you will not be able to stop reading, I would certainly recomend this to any reader!
Good Points
I originally started reading this book because of my interest in baseball, but soon realized it was about much more than that! This is about a strong willed women with a rare natural ability who extraordinarily defeats adversity. Once you pick this novel up you will not be able to put it down!
C
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A great read with plenty of suspense, conflict, and intricate characters.
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
I love how this is a baseball book that doesn't demand a love of baseball. It's easy to follow even for someone who barely knows the rules of the game.
Ruby herself is a strong, determined young woman dedicated to protecting her nieces. She is relatable, but not in a boring way. All the other charactres are multi-faceted as well and interact in fascinating ways. The book kept me riveted through the very last page and I would recommend it in a heartbeat!
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