VOYA Top Shelf for Middle School Readers 2013 list
"The Center of Everything travels a satisfying, circular path that deliberately echoes the shape of a donut. . . . Wishing has a useful place both in childhood and in this novel; but so, too, does reality, especially when rendered with this kind of sensitivity."
—Meg Wolitzer, The New York Times Book Review
"Another gem from one of my favorite authors! Ruby Pepperdine and her wish will work their way into the center of your heart, where they’ll remain (along with a yearning for donuts) long after you close the book."
—Ingrid Law, author of Savvy, a Newbery Honor Book
"A beautiful, sensitive, thoughtful novel that will make you think and smile and think some more, and fall in love with Linda Urban's books."
—Kathryn Erskine, National Book Award-winner
"Every book by Linda Urban makes me laugh, cry, hope, wonder, and fall in love with her writing. With The Center of Everything, she has done it again!"
—Barbara O’Connor, author of How to Steal a Dog
* "Throughout this slim, affecting novel, Urban treats Ruby's bewilderment with care, and gracefully reinforces the value of friends, family, and community."
—Booklist, starred review
"Ruby's large imagination and even bigger heart are beautifully evoked as the sixth grader finds a way to keep the memory of her grandmother alive."
* "A poignant, finely wrought exploration of grief."
—Kirkus, starred review
"By turns thought-provoking, humorous, and poignant, Ruby's story introduces a multi-faceted character well worth meeting."
"Give this to patient readers who enjoy Polly Horvath's The Vacation (2005) and Everything on a Waffle (2001)."
—School Library Journal
* "[Urban] compactly, gently addresses some common aspects of grief: the isolation, the regrets, the bargaining, and the epistemological questions about meaning. . . . This is a terrific first step up for kids who are just beginning to explore more complicated novels."
—Bulletin, starred review