cover artBibliographic Information
Title: Bad Apple
Author: Laura Ruby
ISBN: Hardcover: 978-0-06-124330-1
Paperback: 978-0-06-124332-5
Publisher: Harper Teen, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers
Copyright: 2009

Book Details
Jacket Design: Amy Ryan & Ray Shappell
Jacket Art: Dean Biriny – Istockphoto
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle
Page Count: 272 p.

Plot Summary
High School Junior Tola Riley doesn’t really care about people’s opinions or what they say about her — she regularly changes bright hair colors and wears goth clothes. But now the news is everywhere that she is having an affair with her art teacher. The stories aren’t true, but what can we do?

Quotes – quotes you might see on any 24/7 scandal-channel news show – from family members and school staff start many chapters. We get pulled into her situation and we too wonder if maybe she is having an affair.

Critical Evaluation
Using Grimm’s fairy tales as a foundation for her story, we are walked through the chaos of Tola Riley’s life as the rumors unfold. The fairy tale template is interwoven with modern day technology: websites, social media, messaging – and the world of anonymity. We wonder if she can ever find her happily ever after. A writer with dark humor and a razor wit, Laura Ruby, challenges us with this fictional story we might expect to see on evolving on Facebook or US magazine or the nightly news.

Reader’s Annotation
She’s never cared what people thought about her, her green hair,  or her goth clothes. But now, accused of an affair with her art teacher, she is trying to find her way out to her own happily ever after.

Information about the Author
Born in the Midwest and raised in suburban Wayne, New Jersey, Laura Ruby is the daughter of a psychologist and a cop. Laura Ruby writes fiction for all ages. Titles include the Edgar-nominated children’s mystery LILY’S GHOSTS, GOOD GIRLS, I’M NOT JULIA ROBERTS. She makes her home in the Chicago area. Bad Apples was written early in her writing career. Her family was full of divorces, remarriages, and reconfigurations that were difficult for me to deal with. Secretly, I yearned for a fairy tale ending and stumbled onto Tola’s fairy tale obsessions.


Curriculum Ties
Dealing with untruths in the media and social networks
Public Relations

Booktalking ideas
How rumors get started

Reading Level/Interest Age
Interest Level: Ages 14 and up.

Challenge Issues
Teacher – Student Affair (alleged)



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