In Your Dreams (Ruby Rogers) by Sue Limb

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In Your Dreams (Ruby Rogers) by Sue Limb

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Magda Healey
Reviewed by Magda Healey
Summary: A funny, feelgood read with a realistic description of the ups and downs of childhood life and a lesson or two to learn. Recommended for children reading confidently on their own (probably mostly girls), from about 7 to 10 years old.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 112 Date: March 2008
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 978-0747592440

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Ruby's parents are sooo useless! Her dad is a wimp of a geography teacher who has this terrible cat allergy and has just pulled his back building his shed and how has to make a spectacle of himself lying on the floor. To compound the misery, he thinks a screen saver puppy would make a good pet. Her midwife mum is tired and irritable all the time and falls asleep on the sofa instead of staying at home like Yasmin's mum who works in the room upstairs and constantly pops down to cook delicious food, or like Lauren's mum who helps her dad run the farm and can look after all Lauren's pets. Ruby herself has been dreaming about having a pet for ages but she can't have a cat because of her Dad's pesky allergy and her mum thinks it's cruel to keep a dog at home all day. But when Ruby meets a half-Persian kitten called Horatio, she falls in love and she just has to find a way to have him!

I really liked In Your Dreams: it's a great mix of pre-teen comedy that will be funny to both children and adults and very many realistic and excruciatingly recognisable observations about emotional reactions and sensibilities of little (and grown up) humans. Ruby's embarrassment at her parents and her furious filling up of a sheet of paper with I hate mum to then leave it lying around and worry all evening that she might find it rings very true to anybody who ever had (or ever was) a child. Even grown ups are often impressed by an idyllic or exciting picture of greener grass on the other side of the fence and get rather disappointed as they find out the reality. Ruby's determination (if not to say pig-headedness) about having a pet will be recognizable to parents of any but the most placid child.

Despite being very short and eminently suitable for children who have just learned to read on their own, the characters are well fleshed out, the plot is reasonably rich, and most of all it's all very funny.

Ruby herself is likeable and recognisable as an imaginative, determined (not to say pig-headed) 10 year old who keeps getting into scrapes of her own design. Her family is well drawn, too: all with their foibles and weaknesses (and a few individual lines in jokes), human and imperfect as we all are, but in a well meaning (if often quite hilarious) way.

In Your Dreams is a feelgood pre-teen comedy of manners: there are no real baddies or serious "issues" there, though quite a few lessons are learned (in a non-patronising manner).

Any 8 years old, and especially those interested in more realistic tales should enjoy In Your Dreams. And I did, too, despite being 30 years older.

Thanks to Bloomsbury for sending this to the BookBag.

We've just enjoyed another Ruby Rogers book and we think that you might also enjoy The Worst Witch to the Rescue by Jill Murphy.

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Buy In Your Dreams (Ruby Rogers) by Sue Limb at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy In Your Dreams (Ruby Rogers) by Sue Limb at


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Jill siad:

I haven't had an "I hate mum" missive yet - but I quite want one! It's a parental rite of passage, isn't it?!

Sue said:

The older they are when they write it, the less likely you are to be amused. You'd better get the boys organised quickly, Jill.

{{comment |name=Jill |verb=replied |comment=I could go for the red hot poker trick?

Sue replied:

Forcing them to wash regularly is far more effective.

Magda said:

Forcing them (no, attempting to) to pick ANYTHING from the floor is far better.