Making RubyLyn’s Fortune-Teller by Kim Michele Richardson

The paper RubyLyn uses for her fortune- tellers is made from the pulp of the tobacco stalk. She draws intricate scenes of rural life, portraits, and fantasy cityscapes. But you don’t have to
grow tobacco and produce your own pulp. You can have one by cutting out the square map of Nameless that’s in the front of GodPretty in the Tobacco Field or printing out the map here. Then follow these simple instructions below. If you like, you can use a separate piece of your choice. Decorate your fortune- teller any way you like.

To see other readers’ fortune- tellers like the ones RubyLyn makes, please visit my Facebook page and post your photos:

I am excited to see your works of art!


1. Cut out square and fold over diagonally on both dotted lines.

2. Flatten paper and fold all four corners to the center and press in creases.

3. Unfold, flip paper over, and fold four corners to center dotted lines.

4. Fold vertical and then horizontal on dotted lines.

5. Slip thumbs and forefingers into slots.


Download and print out map to use for your fortune-teller.

Cootie Catcher Instruction Diagram img009

Click for larger image.


“Beauty and sweetness weave a diaphanous fabric against the stark backdrop of poverty and cruelty.” –Sara Gruen, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Water for Elephants

Nameless, Kentucky, in 1969 is a hardscrabble community where jobs are few and poverty is a simple fact—just like the hot Appalachian breeze or the pests that can wipe out a tobacco field in days. RubyLyn Bishop is luckier than some. Her God-fearing uncle, Gunnar, has a short fuse and high expectations, but he’s given her a good home ever since she was orphaned at the age of five. Yet now, a month shy of her sixteenth birthday, RubyLyn itches for more.

Maybe it’s something to do with the paper fortunetellers RubyLyn has been making for townsfolk, each covered with beautifully wrought, prophetic drawings. Or perhaps it’s because of Rainey Ford, an African-American neighbor who works alongside her in the tobacco field, and with whom she has a kinship, despite her uncle’s worrisome shadow and the town’s disapproval. RubyLyn’s predictions are just wishful thinking, not magic at all, but through them she’s imagining life as it could be, away from the prejudice and hardship that ripple through Nameless.

Atmospheric, poignant, and searingly honest, GodPretty in the Tobacco Field follows RubyLyn through the course of one blazing summer, as heartbreaking revelations and life-changing decisions propel her toward a future her fortunetellers never predicted.

GodPretty In The Tobacco Field

“A voice rich and authentic, steeped in the somber beauty that defines life in the South. Richardson knows this place well, and GodPretty sings of that honesty.” –David Joy, author of Where All Light Tends to Go

“Richardson’s brilliant writing made me feel as though I were transported back in time to poor parched Nameless, Kentucky, and actually there witnessing this poignant heartfelt story. To be able to do that to a reader is a sign of a truly gifted novelist.” –Charles Belfoure, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Architect

“When a tale of days gone by, in a place you’ve never been, feels as vivid as your own memory, you know you’re in the hands of a great writer. Lyrical, wrenching, and riveting, GodPretty in the Tobacco Field is a triumph.” –Jamie Mason

“A reader always recognizes when the author has poured her soul into a body of work. GodPretty in the Tobacco Field is a tender, beautifully written second novel.”–Ann Hite

Liar’s Bench

“This story has southern small-town charm and may appeal to those who like Rebecca Wells or Jennifer Chiaverini.” —Booklist

“You’ll hear echoes of To Kill A Mockingbird in this haunting coming-of-age story, in which old and more recent tragedies collide. Beautifully written, atmospheric and intricately plotted, Kim Michele Richardson’s debut novel will stay with you long after the last page is turned.” —Susan Wiggs, # 1 New York Times bestselling author

“Readers of Southern fiction won’t be able to turn the pages fast enough as they follow this colorful tale.” –Ellen Marie Wiseman, author of What She Left Behind