Ruby Rogers is a Waste of Space
Sue Limb, Bernice Lum
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Ruby Rogers is about to turn ten. She wants to be a gangster when she grows up. She also wants nothing more than a tree house for her birthday. Problem is, there aren't any trees in her garden, and her family laugh off the idea. Ruby's furious, but then life takes a turn for the better when, through her best friend Yasmin, she meets Holly Helvellyn, a super-cool Gothic girl who's friends with Yasmin's older sister. It turns out Holly rather fancies Ruby's older brother Joe - the brooding artist in the sixth-form who has a strange habit of talking in newspaper headlines.
One day Holly asks Ruby to steal something from Joe's bedroom for a joke, setting off a chain of events that culminate in some very unexpected but pleasant surprises...
had to forget about that. Right now I had to find something for Holly. The pillowcase was out of the question. Even if Joe didn’t notice it straight away, Mum would go bananas when she found it was missing. On the floor were a pair of dirty socks. I picked one up and sniffed. Minging! Gross! A total stench! I dropped it and looked around. What wouldn’t he miss? The room was completely and utterly crammed with his model thingies. Boats and planes and kites and buildings all mixed up with animals
kitchen-dining room. The walls were pale blue and absolutely covered in modern paintings: brilliant splashes of jolly colour – red and pink and purple. The floor was bare boards, and there was a big wooden table where a boy about Joe’s age was sitting eating some nachos. He had thick blond hair and slightly gappy teeth, and he was plump. ‘This is my evil brother Tom,’ said Holly. ‘Tom, this is Ruby. Joe Rogers’ sister.’ Tom raised his clenched fist in a kind of salute. ‘Respect,’ he said.
‘So, Ruby!’ said Holly’s mum. I’d got a pile of nachos on my plate and a glass of passion-fruit juice on the side, but I was still way too nervous to eat. ‘I was truly amazed by Joe’s sculpture. Tell me about it.’ ‘I was only borrowing it,’ I said. ‘I thought Holly might be interested.’ My heart started to race. Although Holly’s mum was obviously not an ogre, she still might disapprove of my stealing it and give me a hard time, and ring my mum. ‘Yes, of course he can have it back,’ said Holly’s
and knits his own ponchos. Not really a gangsterish role model. Suddenly someone walked past the airing cupboard and pushed the door shut with a click. Immediately I panicked. Although I have inherited Mum’s love of curling up somewhere cosy, I’ve also inherited Dad’s fear of being shut in. The airing cupboard only opens from the outside! Ohmigawd! I was in danger of being aired to death! ‘Heeeeeelp!’ I yelled. Moments later, Mum flung the airing cupboard door open. Her face was still a bit
have to now.’ He waved his cheque. ‘Oh, right,’ said Holly. She looked really disappointed for a moment. ‘Because they’re recruiting new staff at the place where Zerrin and I work. I said I’d ask you if you were available. I know it’s mind-numbing torture, but it pays well and we have the best time.’ ‘Er …’ said Joe, looking doubtful. Go for it, go for it, you idiot! I thought. It was so obvious that Holly was mad about him, and wanted an excuse to see more of him, and here he was mumbling and