From the WireNews


Embark on a thrilling adventure in the captivating children’s book, “Race for the Ruby Turtle” by Stephen Bramucci. Follow 11-year-old Jake Rizzi on his quest to navigate the challenges of ADHD while uncovering the mystery of the Ruby-Backed Turtle. Set in rural Oregon, Jake’s vacation takes an unexpected turn as he discovers the town’s annual festival and the elusive turtle’s existence. Filled with teachable moments about digital literacy, mindfulness, and ecological interdependence, this story not only sheds light on the struggles and benefits of ADHD but also promotes the importance of protecting vulnerable creatures and fostering diverse friendships. Brace yourself for an unforgettable journey filled with nature, friendship, and the power of resilience.


This image is property of


Jake Rizzi

Jake Rizzi is the protagonist of “Race for the Ruby Turtle.” At 11 years old, Jake desires to be seen as “normal” but faces challenges due to his ADHD. Throughout the story, Jake’s determination, curiosity, and quick thinking help him navigate various obstacles and villains. His journey of self-discovery and growth offers valuable insights into living with ADHD and the power of friendship.

Jake’s family

Jake’s family plays a significant role in his life. They provide him with love, support, and guidance as he faces the challenges associated with ADHD. Though they are presented as white in the book, they showcase the importance of familial bonds and highlight the diversity of experiences within families.


Mia is a new friend that Jake meets during his week-long vacation in rural Oregon. As a Black character, Mia adds diversity to the story and showcases the importance of embracing different cultures and backgrounds. Mia’s friendship and shared adventure with Jake provide him with a sense of belonging and help him realize the true value of friendship.



“Race for the Ruby Turtle” explores the theme of nature through Jake’s encounters with various flora and fauna in rural Oregon. From the majestic scenery to the discovery of the Ruby-Backed Turtle, the story highlights the beauty and interconnectedness of the natural world. Through Jake’s journey, readers are encouraged to appreciate and protect the environment around them.


The book delves into the theme of ADHD through the experiences of the main character, Jake. Jake’s inner monologue offers readers an insight into the challenges and benefits of living with ADHD. By portraying Jake’s struggles and triumphs, the story promotes empathy and understanding towards individuals with ADHD.


Friendship is a prominent theme in “Race for the Ruby Turtle.” Jake’s friendship with Mia provides him with companionship, support, and a sense of belonging. Their shared adventure strengthens their bond and demonstrates the power of friendship in overcoming obstacles. The story emphasizes the importance of nurturing and valuing friendships in one’s life.


This image is property of


Rural Oregon

The story takes place in rural Oregon, providing a picturesque backdrop for Jake’s adventures. The serene landscapes, dense forests, and rolling hills of rural Oregon capture the essence of nature’s beauty. This setting allows readers to immerse themselves in the story while connecting with the tranquility and wonder of the natural world.

The town’s annual festival

The town’s annual festival serves as a focal point in the story. This vibrant event brings the community together and creates an atmosphere of excitement and anticipation. The festival serves as a catalyst for Jake’s journey, introducing him to the legends and mysteries surrounding the Ruby-Backed Turtle.

Plot Summary

Jake’s week-long vacation

The story begins with Jake embarking on a week-long vacation with his aunt in rural Oregon. Excited for a break from school, Jake anticipates a peaceful and uneventful time. Little does he know that his vacation will turn into an adventurous quest.

Discovery of the Ruby-Backed Turtle

During his stay, Jake overhears the locals talking about the town’s annual festival and the legend of the Ruby-Backed Turtle. Intrigued, Jake sets out to discover the truth behind the fabled creature. His relentless curiosity leads him deep into the forests, where he stumbles upon the hidden habitat of the Ruby-Backed Turtle.

Keeping the turtle’s existence a secret

Realizing the significance and vulnerability of the Ruby-Backed Turtle, Jake decides to keep its existence a secret. He understands that revealing its whereabouts could attract poachers and others with ill intentions. Jake takes on the responsibility of protecting the turtle and preserving its natural habitat.

Facing challenges and villains

Protecting the Ruby-Backed Turtle comes with numerous challenges and encounters with villains. Jake faces treacherous terrain, cunning poachers, and individuals who seek to exploit the turtle’s mystical qualities. With the help of his newfound friend, Mia, Jake faces each obstacle head-on, using his ADHD-fueled determination and resourcefulness to outsmart the villains and protect the turtle.


This image is property of

Teachable Moments

Digital literacy

Throughout the story, Jake encounters situations that require digital literacy skills. Whether it’s using online resources to learn about the Ruby-Backed Turtle or sharing information responsibly, the book emphasizes the importance of digital literacy in today’s interconnected world. Jake’s cautious approach to online information showcases the need to verify sources and practice responsible internet usage.


As Jake navigates through his adventures, he discovers the value of mindfulness. The book encourages readers to be present, appreciate the beauty around them, and cultivate a sense of mindfulness in their daily lives. Jake’s moments of quiet contemplation amidst nature’s wonders serve as reminders to embrace stillness and find peace within oneself.

Ecological interdependence

The story highlights the delicate balance and interconnectedness of the natural world. Through encounters with different species and their habitats, readers gain a deeper understanding of the importance of ecological interdependence. Jake’s efforts to protect the Ruby-Backed Turtle underscore the significance of preserving and respecting nature’s interwoven ecosystems.

Insight into ADHD

Jake’s challenges and benefits

Jake’s inner monologue provides valuable insights into the challenges and benefits of living with ADHD. Readers witness Jake’s struggles with focus, impulsivity, and hyperactivity, which often make him feel different from his peers. However, the story also showcases the positive aspects of ADHD, such as heightened creativity, adaptive thinking, and a unique perspective on the world.

Practical coping strategies

Throughout the book, Jake employs various coping strategies to manage his ADHD. From creating visual reminders to utilizing his hyperfocus, Jake demonstrates practical ways to navigate through daily challenges. By sharing these strategies, the story promotes self-acceptance and empowers readers with ADHD to explore methods that work for them.


This image is property of

Importance of Making Space

Protection of vulnerable creatures

“Race for the Ruby Turtle” underscores the importance of making space for vulnerable creatures. By keeping the Ruby-Backed Turtle’s existence a secret and protecting its habitat, Jake exemplifies the responsibility we have to ensure the survival of endangered species. The book encourages readers to cultivate empathy and take action in preserving the rich biodiversity of our planet.

Embracing diversity and inclusion

The diverse cast of characters in the book promotes the importance of embracing diversity and inclusion. Jake’s friendship with Mia, who is portrayed as Black, showcases the significance of fostering relationships across different backgrounds and cultures. By highlighting the beauty of diversity, the story encourages readers to celebrate and value the uniqueness of individuals around them.

In conclusion, “Race for the Ruby Turtle” by Stephen Bramucci is a captivating children’s adventure book that seamlessly weaves together themes of nature, ADHD, and friendship. Through the journey of Jake Rizzi, readers are taken on an exciting and thought-provoking adventure set in rural Oregon. The book not only offers valuable insights into ADHD and practical coping strategies but also emphasizes the significance of digital literacy, mindfulness, and ecological interdependence. Furthermore, “Race for the Ruby Turtle” underscores the importance of making space for vulnerable creatures and embracing diversity and inclusion in our lives. With its well-developed characters, engaging plot, and teachable moments, this book is sure to inspire and entertain young readers while imparting valuable life lessons.