Reviews

School Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 6-8-At age two, when Ruby Redfort couldn't get her parents to understand that she was telling them about a theft she witnessed, she determined to give up baby talk and spruce up her verbal skills. By age seven, she had created a code that took weeks for well-educated adults to crack. Not surprisingly, 13-year-old Ruby is an exceptional code-breaker and clever detective who is contacted by a spy agency called Spectrum to help them crack a particularly difficult code. With her buddy Clancy and butler Hitch, she foils the villains (including a woman named Valerie "Nine Lives" Capaldi and a sly, slippery, and creepy Count) and saves the Jade Buddha from falling into their unscrupulous hands. Ruby's parents are kind but clueless and provide a foil for her brilliant ways. The mystery and intrigue, murder and mayhem are presented in a light tone and with a satirical touch sure to make readers laugh. Those familiar with the author's "Clarice Bean" novels may note that Clarice's favorite book character now has her own series. And since the Count escapes, Ruby's adventures are likely to continue.-Maria B. Salvadore, formerly at Washington DC Public Library (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Readers familiar with Child's Clarice Bean chapter books will be delighted to see Clarice's mystery-solving hero, Ruby Redfort, star in her own book, a delightful homage to Louise Fitzhugh's classic Harriet the Spy (1964). Thirteen-year-old Ruby is supersmart and incredibly well organized; she has kept detailed notebooks (now up to 622) of her observations. Her code-cracking skills so impressed Harvard professors that they offered her a place at age eight, but Ruby chose to stay in her seemingly quiet town of Twinford, where she lives with her oblivious parents and their ancient housekeeper. Now a series of kooky mishaps leads to her being recruited as a code cracker by Spectrum, a secret crime-busting organization whose headquarters just happen to be in Twinford. This series opener shows much promise, with a swift pace, clever dialogue, and many codes and puzzles scattered throughout. Bold graphics, well-placed chapter breaks, and just enough irony will appeal to middle-school readers who grew up with Clarice Bean. Child's light, bright wit is in fine form here.--Carton, Debbie Copyright 2010 Booklist


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 6-8-At age two, when Ruby Redfort couldn't get her parents to understand that she was telling them about a theft she witnessed, she determined to give up baby talk and spruce up her verbal skills. By age seven, she had created a code that took weeks for well-educated adults to crack. Not surprisingly, 13-year-old Ruby is an exceptional code-breaker and clever detective who is contacted by a spy agency called Spectrum to help them crack a particularly difficult code. With her buddy Clancy and butler Hitch, she foils the villains (including a woman named Valerie "Nine Lives" Capaldi and a sly, slippery, and creepy Count) and saves the Jade Buddha from falling into their unscrupulous hands. Ruby's parents are kind but clueless and provide a foil for her brilliant ways. The mystery and intrigue, murder and mayhem are presented in a light tone and with a satirical touch sure to make readers laugh. Those familiar with the author's "Clarice Bean" novels may note that Clarice's favorite book character now has her own series. And since the Count escapes, Ruby's adventures are likely to continue.-Maria B. Salvadore, formerly at Washington DC Public Library (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.