Love, Ruby Lavender, 2002, is an exquisite little gem by Deborah Wiles. Ruby Lavender comes from a long line of strong women. The story starts off with a chicken "liberation" raid by Ruby and her grandmother, Miss Eula. Their wonderful relationship is at the heart of this story. Living in Halleluia, Mississippi, Ruby is looking forward to her summer until Miss Eula leaves to visit a new grandbaby in Hawaii. In letters to her grandmother Ruby pours out her woes and her triumphs. Things start looking up when a new teacher and his family move to town. The teacher's niece, Dove, becomes a good friend. She helps Ruby resolve issues surrounding her grandfather's death and her on-going feud with classmate, Melba Jane. Ruby is an exuberant spirit who loves her chickens and calms them by reading them the dictionary. This book is funny, tender, and full of love. Go read it!
Her bare feet slapped the dirt road, and her ponytailed red hair leaped all over the place, like a fire chasing her down the hill.