Everyone knows that Clarice Bean is exceptionordinarily keen on the Ruby Redfort books. Read more...
FREE Shipping for Club Members
Not a member? Join Today!
Everyone knows that Clarice Bean is exceptionordinarily keen on the Ruby Redfort books. Now in her own starring role, Ruby, a genius code-cracker and daring detective, along with her sidekick butler, Hitch, work for a secret crime-busting organization called Spectrum. Ruby gets into lots of scrapes with evil villains, but she's always ice-cool in a crisis. Just take a classic screwball comedy, add heaps of breathtaking action, and multiply it by Lauren Child's writing genius, and what have you got? Only the most exciting new middle-grade series since, like, ever.
- ISBN-13: 9780763651206
- ISBN-10: 0763651206
- Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)
- Publish Date: March 2012
- Page Count: 400
- Reading Level: Ages 10-UP
Series: Ruby Redfort Trilogy (Hardcover)
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-01-30
- Reviewer: Staff
As smart and observant as her socialite parents are clueless, junior high student Ruby Redfort has the makings of a top-notch sleuth. But it’s her code-cracking skills that attract the attention of Spectrum, a secret intelligence agency that hires her. In this funny and action-packed first installment of an adventure series from Child, Ruby (who Child’s fans will recognize as her character Clarice Bean’s favorite fictional heroine) quickly becomes bored with her first Spectrum assignment, poring over the files of a code-breaking agent who met an untimely demise. With the help of her sidekick/classmate Clancy Crew, she ventures out from her well-hidden office into more dangerous territory to prevent the theft of a priceless jade Buddha statue. Playing a game of cat and mouse with criminals and fellow agents (who are furious at her for overstepping boundaries), Ruby finds her way into some dire situations, but readers will rest assured that she will find a way to squirm out of enemy hands. Child’s sardonic narration will grab readers from the get-go, and puzzles laced throughout will intrigue those who share Ruby’s passion for solving mysteries. Ages 10–13. (Mar.)
A tough code to crack
Get ready, puzzle lovers! There’s a new book on the scene that will satisfy the sleuth in all of us. Author Lauren Child (Clarice Bean, Charlie & Lola) introduces Ruby Redfort, a young code-cracking genius who gets caught up in a great mystery. Like Petra and Calder in Blue Balliett’s Chasing Vermeer and Reynie in Trenton Lee Stewart’s The Mysterious Benedict Society, Ruby is a precocious kid who thrives on difficult problems and tricky situations.
The story moves along fluidly, although some elements are a bit cartoonish: Ruby’s unbelievably stupid parents; the spy agency that only seems able to crack codes with Ruby’s help; and the fact that billions of dollars in gold are coming to the small town of Twinford, USA. Despite these elements—or perhaps because of them—the story is a fun romp through Ruby’s interesting life.
Child does an excellent job of subtly alerting us that the story takes place in the 1970s and that Ruby is an American. (Child is British.) The author also includes some interesting puzzles and a difficult code to decipher. (This reviewer, who prides herself on her own decoding abilities, had to resort to the Internet for help.) And there’s plenty of page-turning action as Ruby gets closer to solving the mystery.
Though Ruby Redfort Look Into My Eyes will appeal to all ages, middle-grade girls will especially identify with Ruby’s disconnect from her parents, her efforts to be independent and her struggle to be heard by the adults in her life. This lighthearted caper also carries a valuable lesson as Ruby learns that trusting her instincts can help her crack the toughest cases.