Ruby’s Hope

Written by Monica Kulling
Review by Holly Faur

Ruby’s Hope is the illustrated telling of the famous “Migrant Mother” photograph—the unmistakable face of America’s Great Depression. Facts and creativity weave together seamlessly over the beautiful pencil and murky color sketches as readers follow little Ruby’s family from the Dust Bowl to field after field, then finally to the crowded work camps in California, where photographer Dorothea Lange took the renowned snapshot.

The story is imaginable and simply told, with enough details to bring the era and the hardships the family faced into focus for any age. Ruby is resistant to the change, as any child would be, and readers are drawn into her life. I especially loved the drawing techniques used, as they impart the perfect atmosphere and set the reader firmly in this difficult part of our history. Accompanying the story and illustrations are some real-life photos and information about the family and Dorothea Lange herself, who nearly didn’t take the photograph.