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News & Events

2020 Events

Saturday, February 22, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Anderson’s 18th Annual Children’s Literature Breakfast
Woodridge, IL

Saturday, March 14
Illinois Reads Book Festival
Illinois Valley Community College
815 North Orland Smith Road
Oglesby, IL

Monday, April 6, 7:00 p.m.
Women and Children’s First
In conversation with Samira Ahmed
5233 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL

Friday, April 17, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Authors After Hours
Zion Public Library
Zion, IL

May 10-17
Highlights Foundation
Writing the Unreal: Whole Novel Workshop in Fantasy and Speculative Fiction
Honesdale, PA

July 8-20
Hamline University MFAC Residency
St. Paul, MN

Awards for Thirteen Doorways

National Book Award Finalist
Amazon Best YA Novel of 2019
New York Times Best YA Novel of 2019
Chicago Public Library Best of the Best
NPR Best YA Novel of 2019
Booklist Best YA Novel of 2019
SLJ Best YA Novel of 2019
Shelf Awareness Best YA Novel of 2019
Book Page’s #1 YA Novel of 2019

Interviews

The making of Thirteen Doorways: Interview with Audible
Listen now

The B&N YA Podcast: Laura Ruby
Listen now

Reviews for Thirteen Doorways

“Pearl’s back story and Frankie’s journey are skillfully interwoven so that parallels appear, driving the reader forward to several surprising revelations. This novel deserves to be read by a wide audience of teenagers and adults. It is haunting and hopeful in equal measure.”
The New York Times

“Ruby’s delicate, powerful storytelling reveals profound, bewitching truths about the vast, sometimes cruel, sometimes loving, possibilities of human nature. Subtle and stunning.”
Booklist, Starred Review

“I found myself quite riveted—or perhaps immersed is a better way to describe it. Even when I put it down, Thirteen Doorways‘ moody miasma lingered, pulling me back in. It’s a story that kept happening in the back of my mind, even when I wasn’t reading. It has a certain, dream-like quality, like a memory half-forgotten or a story repeated so often that it becomes reality.

It’s certainly evident that Ruby is a skilled hand at creating an evocative narrative tapestry. Her history-infused details feel achingly real—which makes good sense, given that in the author’s note, we find out she is drawing directly from her mother-in-law’s experience growing up in a Chicago orphanage—but seen through the fractured prism of Pearl’s psyche, everything fragments and reflects. Instead of creating distance from the story, this will draw readers in, allowing them to layer their own experiences over this framework of girls daring to ask for more from life than they are told they should expect or deserve.”
—Caitlyn Paxson, NPR (read more)

“Stop whatever you are reading right now and get your hands on a copy of Laura Ruby’s Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All. If litera­ture exists to make us think, to broaden our minds, to make a difference, then there can be no better a book to read right now. That one of the main characters is a ghost on a crash course with her own past just adds to the inherent drama that Ruby creates in this powerful and powerfully prescient historical novel.

Thirteen Doorways is about young women who have lost far too much, been cast aside by those who once held their hearts, and then rose up to find and claim their long dormant power. Ruby is shaking foundations here; she’s making demands and she’s bringing a literary fury that will not be contained. Ignore this writer at your own peril; the armies she’s leading are filled with young women who don’t want to hear excuses. They will make their own way and they will succeed and they will tear down all of the old world if that is what it takes. Hell yeah, for writing this book, Laura Ruby. Hell, yeah.”
—Colleen Mondor, Locus Magazine (read more)

“This luminous, moving novel by an award-winning YA novelist is a genre-defying achievement. Part ghost story, part feminist history, part love letter to the city of Chicago…. This is a book to be savored for its gorgeous prose as well as its memorable characters. It has already been long-listed for a National Book Award and is sure to appear on many other 2019 award lists.”
—Kirsten McDermott, Historical Novel Society

“I first fell in love with Laura Ruby’s words with her debut and Printz Award winner, Bone Gap, an eerie, beautifully written ode to the myth of Hades and Persephone with her own fantastic twist. I was stunned by how versatile she is as a writer when I read her middle-grade debut, York: The Shadow Cipher and knew instantly that she was a must-read author for me for life. I knew I would love Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All but I didn’t know what else to expect as her work combines the best of storytelling, the unfolding of characters and worlds with no idea where they lead and no choice but to follow them. It comes as absolutely no surprise that the book is already long-listed for a National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. It is a stunning, heartbreaking, glorious work of fiction that showcases Laura Ruby’s astounding talent.”
—The Young Folks

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