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Ruby Holler

By Sharon Creech, Sharon Creech


From Sharon Creech, the Newbery Medal winning author of Walk Two Moons, comes a heartwarming adventure about finding family, and a home, when you least expect it.

Ruby Holler is a Carnegie Medal-winning novel, and with its quirky protagonists and exciting journey, captures the imaginations of readers of all ages.  

Brother and sister Dallas and Florida are the “trouble twins.” In their short thirteen years, they’ve passed through countless foster homes, only to return to their dreary orphanage, Boxton Creek Home.

Run by the Trepids, a greedy and strict couple, Boxton Creek seems impossible to escape. When Mr. Trepid informs the twins that they’ll be helping old Tiller and Sairy Morey go on separate adventures, Dallas and Florida are suspicious.

As the twins adjust to the natural beauty of the outdoors, help the Tillers prepare for their adventures, and foil a robbery, their ultimate search for freedom leads them home to Ruby Holler.

Praises & Awards


Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“This poignant story evokes a feeling as welcoming as fresh-baked bread.”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“An altogether engaging outing.”

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“This poignant story evokes a feeling as welcoming as fresh-baked bread.”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“An altogether engaging outing.”


Volunteer State Book Award (Tennessee)

Young Hoosier Book Award (Indiana)

California Young Reader Medal

Book Sense Pick

Carnegie Medal

New York Public Library's “One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing”

School Library Journal Best Book

ALA Notable Children’s Book

Product Details

Imprint: HarperCollins

Format: Paperback

On Sale: 04/24/2012

ISBN: 9780060560157

ISBN10: 0060560150

Pages: 288

Trimsize: 7.625 x 5.125 in


JUVENILE FICTION / Family / Siblings


JUVENILE FICTION / Family / Orphans & Foster Homes

JUVENILE FICTION / Action & Adventure / General


About six years ago I received a letter from my aunt in which she related a story about my father when he was young. She ended the story with “and that was when we lived in the holler.” Holler? I hadn’t known about the holler and was intrigued by the notion of my father and his many siblings and parents living in this place.

I began to imagine the place, and as I did so, I knew it would be a great setting for a story, but it was several years before I began to see who the characters might be who would live in this holler. I think that the older couple, Tiller and Sairy, evolved because I was thinking of my grandparents living in a holler, and this couple resembles my grandparents in some ways.

The children, Dallas and Florida, probably came to life because I’d been thinking of my father as a mischievous child (that was evident in the original story my aunt told) and his equally-mischievous siblings.

After I’d begun the story, I saw a real photo of my grandparents’ house in the holler. The house was but a tiny shack, rather decrepit looking, and the holler wasn’t as enchanting as the one I imagined. I’m glad I didn’t see the photo before I began the story!


The understone funds evolved in a rather strange way. Many years ago, a Russian friend of my sister and her husband was visiting them and became interested in a chipmunk that lived in their backyard, appearing and disappearing into a hole beneath a stone. The friend referred to the chipmunk as their “understone friend.” Somehow that stayed with me and became understone funds.

In the chapter “The God,” Tiller talks about how a woman who had visited recently had referred to him as “a god.” Tiller is obviously quite proud of this, but Sairy says, in her cool, ironic way, “And you believed her.” This is based on a story my sister told me about her husband. It seemed to fit Tiller and Sairy perfectly.