Cover Image: Ruby Hastings Writes Her Own Story

Ruby Hastings Writes Her Own Story

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Member Reviews

Oh dear. This should have been a great corrective to a lot of thinking about dyspraxia, but fails in almost every regard. It certainly is as quickly readable and engaging as it should be for the specialist thread the publishers have assigned it, but apart from that it's a poor show. Our heroine Ruby, in her none-more-woke Pride rainbow dungarees, is dyspraxic, but idolises a disabled journalist and campaigner, and wants nothing other than to follow in her footsteps. But not only does one of her teachers pour scorn on her efforts, the school invents a newspaper for itself, and she doesn't get her byline anywhere near it.

Now, where to begin? The very idea that the publication might accept handwritten pieces, for one – this is a 2024 book and assuming the paper might allow for things to not be emailed across is just risible. And when that becomes an issue for Ruby – ie she has to ask her father for permission to use a laptop – it becomes just one other aspect where she comes across as excessively self-entitled and whiney. Yes, the teacher is very poor at expressing himself, and sure, Ruby could be a wonderfully-minded young journalist, but she just wants to be there because, and not on any proven grounds of merit or readability. And the final 'twist' regarding the editor Amelia is just plain daft, too.

Here was a lovely opportunity for a window into dyspraxia – and the author could have told her own story perfectly well, I'm sure. But in telling this story instead, where Ruby is just so needy, must have damaged the 'cause'. Ruby and the people who should admire her should always have the right to stick their head above the parapet and stake their claim. This book, and Ruby, does not see the simple right of the Amelias of the world to have a success gained in the old, meritocratic way.

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