322R: Poor Girl Helps Former Affluent Girl Find Lost Ring

I’m hoping you can help me find a book.  I remember a wonderful book being in my library at Elementary School, I checked it out so often I wasn’t allowed to check it out anymore – and now I can’t remember its name.  I think it was a children’s or young adult book?  This would have been mid to late 80s.

It was about a poor girl who lived with her father.  They were very, very poor and the book mentioned they couldn’t afford heat so she had to take cold showers but often went dirty.  She didn’t have many friends but then befriended an affluent girl.  This affluent girl’s family then fell on hard times and the affluent friend lost a ring – I think a garnet ring?  The poor girl thought if she could find the ring she could solve her new friend’s family’s money issues.  I think she found the stone of the ring in her friend’s dress belt/sash.  Her friend may have contracted a disease like polio in the book.

I’d love any help you may know about this!

4 thoughts on “322R: Poor Girl Helps Former Affluent Girl Find Lost Ring

  1. I am also looking for this book – I was starting to think I was making it up b/c no one knows about it! Was the main character named Ruth? I think you are right about the other details, I remember polio too and something about a victory garden?

  2. I read this book in elementary school also, which was during the seventies – so that will help date it a bit. I can’t remember the title, but I’ll give you a few more details in case that helps. The poor girl attended a birthday party at the rich girl’s house (a pity invite, I think). The rich girl’s birthday present (from her parents) was a ring (I think garnet is correct), which all the girls at the party admired. But at the end of the party, the rich girl discovered that the ring had been lost. No one could find it. After that, they did fall on hard times (maybe this was during the Depression). The girls became good friends, and the rich girl’s values changed — became less shallow etc. The poor girl never gave up hope of finding the ring. Eventually it was found — as you said, in the sash of a dress. The poor girl felt that this would solve all the problems, and the mother gently explained that the garnet ring, which had seemed so valuable at the time, was not actually worth enough to get them out of poverty.

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