Twelve-year-old Daisy and Ruby are totally inseparable. They’ve grown up together, and Daisy has always counted on having Ruby there to pave the way, encourage her to try new things, and to see the magic in the world. Then Ruby is killed in a tragic accident while on vacation, and Daisy’s life is shattered.
Now Daisy finds herself having to face the big things in her life—like starting middle school and becoming a big sister—without her best friend. It’s hard when you feel sad all the time. But thanks to new friends, new insights, and supportive family members, Daisy is able to see what life after Ruby can look like. And as she reaches beyond that to help repair the world around her, she is reminded that friendship is eternal, and that magic can be found in the presence of anyone who chooses to embrace it.
Ask anyone in Roosevelt Cove, New York: Daisy Rubens and Ruby Affini come as a pair.
Daisy—Jewish, curly-haired, and freckled—approaches the world with caution and an analytical mind. Meanwhile Ruby—Catholic, with olive-toned skin and straight, dark hair—sees magic everywhere and isn’t afraid of anything. When Ruby dies in an accident the summer before sixth grade, Daisy finds herself bereft of wonder. With the patience and compassion of her loving parents, her whimsical Aunt Toby, and some unfamiliar faces at school and synagogue, she slowly discovers new joy in life. Each character is richly imagined, their idiosyncrasies pondered and celebrated as Daisy parses her way through a world of connections without her best friend by her side. The novel finds its title in the Jewish idea of tikkun olam, and Daisy’s journey is one of repairing herself. Depictions of Jewish life and belief—in all its contemporary formulations—ring true, but where the novel really shines is through its use of sensory and emotional details. With incredible specificity and heart, Epstein carries Daisy through her grief, demystifying the experience of tragedy for her middle-grade audience. The book reads like a field guide for surviving the unimaginable: the prose simple but clearsighted, the plot an unassuming canvas against which characters and emotions bloom.
An accessible look at grief, spirituality, and growth. (Fiction. 8-12)
~ Kirkus Reviews
When 11-year-old Daisy loses her best friend, her world breaks, and my heart broke along with it. But as Daisy discovers the way through her grief is to connect, to create, to repair, I felt my own heart knitting itself back together, right along with Daisy’s. This is a profound and lovely book about loss, grace and the beauty and magic that is all around us.
~ Gayle Forman, author of the New York Times best-selling, If I Stay, and Frankie & Bug
In this brilliantly honest exploration of grief, hope, second chances, and Jewish identity, Epstein grabs you by the heart and doesn't let go. Have your tissues ready for this pitch-perfect middle-grade.
~ Veera Hiranandani, author of Newberry Honor winner, The Night Diary and Sidney Taylor Book Award winner, How to Find What You’re Not Looking For
Beautiful, open-hearted, and full of hope, Repairing the World is the brave and heartbreaking story about the courage to face real loss, find hope and forgiveness, and discover the healing power of friendship.
~Chris Baron, author of All of Me and The Magical Imperfect
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