17-year-old Ruby Thomas, newly responsible for her two young nieces after a devastating tragedy, is determined to keep her family safe in the vast, swirling world of 1920s New York City. She’s got street smarts, boundless determination, and one unusual skill: the ability to throw a ball as hard as the greatest pitchers in a baseball-mad city.
From Coney Island sideshows to the brand-new Yankee Stadium, Diamond Ruby chronicles the extraordinary life and times of a girl who rises from utter poverty to the kind of renown only the Roaring Twenties can bestow. But her fame comes with a price, and Ruby must escape a deadly web of conspiracy and threats from Prohibition rumrunners, the Ku Klux Klan, and the gangster underworld.
“Based on the true story of a lady pitcher who struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in exhibition play, this debut novel from nonfiction author Wallace…is a diverting sports tale…Sharply sketched, convincing historical characters like Ruth and Dempsey add to the considerable appeal of Wallace’s gritty but fun period baseball tale.” ()Publishers Weekly)
“Ruby is a keeper…there are echoes of Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, but this story holds its own, allowing Diamond Ruby her place as a literary gem.” (Library Journal)
“Diamond Ruby is a very special book. The comparisons to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn are not made lightly: Joseph Wallace deserves that accolade and many more. Ruby is a wonderful, memorable character and Wallace’s prose is a perfect match for her.” (Laura Lippman, New York Times bestselling author of Life Sentences)
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