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Eleven-year-old Ruby has never told any of her peers that her mother is in prison. She has learned to juggle her private life and her public life, never allowing them to intersect. Consequently, she’s never had a best friend.

When she meets Margalit, Ruby hopes for a true friend, one with whom she can share her secret. However, an unexpected circumstance threatens Ruby’s resolve. She is faced with a choice: will she divulge the truth that she says “floats over my head like a cloud that follows me wherever I go” or will she remain silent?

This juvenile novel gives young readers insight into the pain, stress, and loneliness of children whose parents are incarcerated. They’ll see that families, school communities, and caregivers can be a healing presence for children who are also serving time, not on the inside, but on the outside. Ages 8 and up. (Simon & Schuster)

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