One of the things I’d like to do this year is to review more books, so I thought I’d set myself one of those challenges everyone’s so fond of (and I’m so fond of starting and then forgetting about). So the plan is I’m going to review a book a week. Of course I’ve only just thought of doing it and it’s the 8th, so I’m saving this one retrospectively. But it was the first book I read this year, honest.
I’m a huge fan of Lauren Child’s books – her picture books and her Clarice Bean books for older children. Ruby Redfort is a character in the Clarice Bean books and I was pretty excited when I heard Child was giving Ruby her own book. Ruby’s a pretty cool customer: “she’s a genius code-cracker, a daring detective, and a gadget-laden special agent who just happens to be a thirteen-year-old girl.”
If you’ve read the Clarice Bean books, Look Into My Eyes is a great introduction to how Ruby came to be a secret agent, but even if you haven’t heard of Ruby before, this book works perfectly well on its own.
Ruby is cool and funny (particularly on the subject of her dopey parents) and the plot is actually really gripping in parts. I did think that Ruby sounded a lot younger than 13 and I’m not entirely sure who the book is aimed at – whether teen or MG girls will actually like it – but I really enjoyed it. Plus it’s great to have a book like this with a female lead who can (almost) totally look after herself.