Way Down Deep by Ruth White

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Synopsis

Although Ruby seemed to just appear out of thin air on the steps of the courthouse on the first day of summer in 1944, no one in Way Down Deep, West Virginia, ever worried too much about where the toddler came from. They figured that if Ruby’s people were dumb enough to lose something as valuable as a child, then that was their problem. So even though Ruby can’t help but wonder where she came from, she has led a joyful and carefree life in Way Down Deep, loved and watched over by Miss Arbutus – proprietor of The Roost, the local boardinghouse – the residents of The Roost, and the rest of the town. But when Ruby is twelve, a new family moves to Way Down Deep, and they inadvertently provide enough clues about Ruby’s past that she is able to find her own people. Ruby travels from Way Down Deep to the top of Yonder Mountain to learn who she really is – only to find that she is bound to Way Down Deep by something even stronger than family ties: love.
 
With a touch of fairy-tale magic and a lot of heart, Ruth White explores just what it is that makes a place truly home.  Way Down Deep is a 2008 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
 

About Ruth White

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Ruth C. White, PhD, is assistant professor of social work at Seattle University in Seattle, WA. She received her doctorate in social welfare from the University of California, Berkeley. She has worked in mental health for many years, and for the last seven years has taught and trained social workers as a member of the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences of Seattle University. She is a member of the National Speakers Bureau of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.The guiding principles of Dr. White's scholarship are that it is to be rigorous, relevant, useful, and integrated into the other aspects of Dr. White's career. During Dr. White's almost 20-year career as a scholar and practitioner, her research has focused on social determinants of health and well-being, HIV/AIDS, community development, international social work and maternal and child health. Dr. White's research is community-driven with the community as equal partners throughout the research process. Dr. White has also begun to create a body of work that expands her study of stigma into the mental health arena which grew out of her own experience with mental illness. The goal of this aspect of her work is to use her multiple positions as social work educator, researcher, author and person with mental illness to reduce the stigma of mental illness, empower those with mental illnesses to strive for mental well-being and advocate on their own behalf, and, to improve the quality and accessibility of services to the mentally ill.Dr. White's expertise has been called upon by her colleagues to review work in the area of HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health for organizations such as the American Public Health Association, the American Journal of Health Behavior, AIDS Care, and the National Science Foundation
 
Published March 20, 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). 206 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Way Down Deep

Kirkus Reviews

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It’s a tale of magical beginnings and the everyday magic of an ordinary place populated by a colorful cast of characters worthy of Dickens—old Miss Arbutus, Robber Bob, 90-year-old Mrs. Rife who throws rocks at passersby, the Fuller triplets who preach the Gospel in the streets, albino Granny But...

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Publishers Weekly

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The ending is a bit neat, but this book brims with wise observations and beautifully realized moments, such as when Ruby explains what Miss Arbutus told her about why a fellow boarder, haunted by the mother who gave him up for adoption as a baby, sleeps all day: "God is in that place where sleep ...

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Teen Reads

Miss Ward stands there “as tall and thin as an evening shadow, waiting for his answer.” With no clues to locate any relatives --- and not one to ask for assistance from the State --- Sheriff Reynolds hands the girl over to Miss Ward, who promptly names her Ruby June.

Mar 20 2007 | Read Full Review of Way Down Deep

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