Kidbooks in South Surrey
Free as a Bird is the story of Ruby Jean Sharp. Born with Down syndrome, Ruby comes from a time when being a developmentally disabled person could mean growing up behind locked doors and barred windows and being called names like “retard” and “moron.” When Ruby Jean’s caregiver and loving grandmother dies, her mother takes her to Woodlands School in New Westminster, British Columbia, and rarely visits.
It’s here in an institution that opened in 1878 and was originally called the Provincial Lunatic Asylum that Ruby Jean learns to survive isolation, boredom, and every kind of abuse. Just when she can hardly remember if she’s ever been happy, she learns a lesson about patience and perseverance from an old crow.
The novel has already received a great review in Quill and Quire.
Gina will also be presenting at the Vancouver Public Library Writing and Book Camp in August.