Skip to main content
Cover for The Two Wrong Halves of Ruby Taylor

The Two Wrong Halves of Ruby Taylor

Amanda Panitch

Hardcover

List Price: 16.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

Funny and poignant, Amanda Panitch's new middle-grade novel The Two Wrong Halves of Ruby Taylor is an exploration of mixed families, identity, hundred-year-old curses, and the terrifying challenge of standing up for yourself against your loved ones.

Of her two granddaughters, Grandma Yvette clearly prefers Ruby Taylor's perfect—and perfectly Jewish—cousin, Sarah. They do everything together, including bake cookies and have secret sleep overs that Ruby isn't invited to. Twelve-year-old Ruby suspects Grandma Yvette doesn't think she's Jewish enough. The Jewish religion is matrilineal, which means it's passed down from mother to child, and unlike Sarah, Ruby’s mother isn’t Jewish.

But when Sarah starts acting out--trading in her skirts and cardigans for ripped jeans and stained t-shirts, getting in trouble at school--Ruby can’t help but be somewhat pleased. Then Sarah suddenly takes things too far, and Ruby is convinced Sarah is possessed by a dybbuk, an evil spirit... that Ruby may or may not have accidentally released from Grandma Yvette's basement. Ruby is determined to save her cousin, but a dybbuk can only be expelled by a "pious Jew." If Ruby isn't Jewish enough for her own grandmother, how can she possibly be Jewish enough to fight a dybbuk?

Amanda Panitch writes with a humorous, irresistible, and authentic voice. This character-driven story with a magic twist about speaking up and finding your place in the world is for fans of Erin Entrada Kelly, Stacey McAnulty, and Greg Howard.



Praise For The Two Wrong Halves of Ruby Taylor

"This exciting story sensitively explores questions of identity and belonging in a Jewish context. A fun, thoughtful page-turner about exorcising the expectations of others to achieve self-acceptance." —Kirkus Reviews

“The dybbuk adds new interest to a familiar theme, and readers who privately seethe over their own “second best” status will feel Ruby’s pain and approve her reconciliation.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (BCCB)

Roaring Brook Press, 9781250245137, 320pp.

Publication Date: August 9, 2022



About the Author

Amanda Panitch grew up next to an amusement park in New Jersey and went to college next to the White House in Washington, DC. She now resides in New York City, where she works in book publishing by day, writes by night, and lives under constant threat of being crushed beneath giant stacks of books. Her books for young adults include Damage Done and Never Missing, Never Found. The Trouble with Good Ideas is her first book for middle grade readers.