Ruby buys a pen that gives her the power to fix all of her problems, only to discover that power comes with its own problems.
Ruby and the Pen is the story of a 12-year-old, cartoon-drawing girl who buys a pen from a mysterious market stall. The pen has a magical power: whatever she draws, happens! Initially the pen protects Ruby from the meanest girls at her new school, but over time the pen’s power becomes dangerous. Soon Ruby faces a difficult choice — the pen or her best friend.
As Ruby struggles to wean herself off the pen, she’s faced with problems galore. Can she foil her headmaster’s evil plan, and save an endangered species of bird in the process, relying on her own talents and working as a team with her friends? Or will she succumb to the pen’s power?
Featuring hilarious illustrations, and with messages about bullying, teamwork and the environment, this is fast-paced, entertaining middle grade fiction that will resonate with kids everywhere. After all, who wouldn’t want to fix all of their problems with the stroke of a pen!
Unlike most children’s authors, David Lawrence started out as a financial analyst! He went from creating profit-and-loss statements to performing stand-up comedy and TV writing, before penning his first book in 2007. Since then, he has written another 12 fun-filled children’s books aimed at engaging reluctant readers. David is passionate about children’s literacy and is a proud Ambassador of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.
Cherie Dignam has always loved drawing and works in a variety of mediums including coloured pencils and watercolour. However, she is at her happiest with a good old-fashioned dip pen and ink. When she’s not working to keep her pet cat Boris supplied with endless tins of tuna, Cherie creates from her home, a short walk from the beach in sunny Perth, Australia.
“An engaging study of power and moral choices.”
“David Lawrence can indeed write fantastic comedy but in Ruby and the Pen, we find it mixed perfectly with compassion, sensitivity, and a depth of understanding that we perhaps don’t often expect to blend with comedy.”
Trevor Cairney Professor of Education The University of Sydney
“Any 12-year-old who picks up this delightful book will find it hard to put down.”
Just So Stories
“There’s a lot of absurd humour in this which readers will enjoy very much, and the villains are nasty enough to also be a hit. Underlying the humour are some deeper themes of ethics, family, friends, relationships and the abuse of power, which would provide some interesting discussions. Cherie Dignam’s illustrations are terrific with definite echoes (for me) of Ronald Searle, and perfectly suited to the content.”
In the Good Books (via instagram)
“12 year-old Ruby loves to draw cartoons. She buys a pen from a mysterious market stall one day, and realised that the pen has a magical power – whatever Ruby draws, happens!! But it isn’t all good news, and as Ruby tries to wean herself away from the pen, she is hit with problems galore! This entertaining story is suitable for middle grade readers, and touches on topics including bullying, teamwork, and the environment.”
We Made This Life | active blog with 7.6k Twitter followers
“a great plot and great themes for children of this age [9-12], struggling with fitting in and issues with school. Definitely recommended!”
“Dotted with wonderful pen and wash illustrations, and exposing topical themes such as bullying, while espousing the environment and working together, this novel for middle primary readers will gain an enthusiastic audience as Ruby is a most appealing character.”
“Ruby and the Pen is a fun read for any kid who has ever wanted to rewrite (or draw!) the world around them and their place in it.”
“a great transition book for emerging readers moving off junior fiction books..”
Kids’ Book Review
“Fantastic artwork by Cherie Dignam enhances David Lawrence’s story full of humour and clever prose.”
“Ruby and the Pen is filled with comedy and heart, combined with Cherie’s black and white illustrations which are lively and dynamic. Young readers are going to thoroughly enjoy the first book in this new series.”