Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 03/01/2015 Gr 4–6—Twelve-year-old orphan maid Ivy Pocket is the unlikely (and deliberately unlikable) heroine embroiled in this quirky, supernatural mystery. The story begins when she is fired for submerging her employer's head in a bowl of fruit punch to cure her "brain fever." With only a single pound in her pocket, Ivy soon accepts a high-paying mission from a strange duchess—she must travel across the sea to deliver a necklace to a spoiled heiress. The necklace possesses magical powers and is highly sought after, putting Ivy through a series of madcap catastrophes. Her impulsivity and delusional hubris lead her to make one regrettable decision after the next. Ivy is superficial, judgmental, and rude; mature readers who are able to avoid taking her literally will appreciate the humor and Krisp's ironic tone. The Victorian English setting is conspicuously old-fashioned, but Krisp's sharp, fresh dialogue and the action-packed illustrations keep the story light and funny. VERDICT Fans of the irony, mild violence, and conspiracies found in Lemony Snickett's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" (HarperCollins) will love Ivy Pocket's zany adventures.—Anna Murphy, Berkeley Carroll School, Brooklyn, NY - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 03/15/2015 It would be difficult to find a more unreliable narrator than Ivy Pocket, a 12-year-old orphan with a wildly inflated opinion of herself. After Ivy is dismissed from her position as a lady’s maid in Paris, a dying duchess commissions the clueless girl to deliver the Clock Diamond, a fabulous jeweled necklace, to Matilda Butterfield on her twelfth birthday. Easily duped, Ivy befriends a suspicious character on her voyage to England and later invites her to Butterfield Park in time for the story’s climax on Matilda’s birthday. There are plenty of hints (helpfully misinterpreted by Ivy) of nefarious motives, while characters keep dark secrets from one another, and a number of mysterious hooded figures skulk in the background. Even readers who think they know where the story’s headed will probably be wrong, but they will enjoy the ride, transported by Ivy’s amusing narration and Cantini’s expressive, stylized drawings that appear throughout the book. A droll chapter book with a Victorian setting and a one-of-a-kind protagonist. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 07/01/2015 “You have a great many talents, Miss Pocket—self-delusion, bad manners, general insufferability—but as for you being the savior of an entire kingdom? I think not.” So utters Miss Frost, at least half correctly, as she and other magical creatures from her realm battle for the diamond in Ivy’s care as well as for twelve-year-old Ivy herself, an orphan turned lady’s maid, in this British fantasy. The treacherous Miss Always thinks Ivy might be the Dual, the fabled girl who will heal her people and ascend the throne, and ingratiates herself with the girl as other forces work to save Ivy and the mystical Clock Diamond. There’s reward here in the period backdrop (Ivy begins in Paris, where her mistress disappears, and then returns to England) and in the Snickety self-awareness of genre tropes. Unfortunately, Ivy lives up a bit too much to Miss Frost’s description, with her delusions of grandeur and blindness to the obvious more alienating than humorous. Her archness and her self-aggrandizing schtick are also too often overplayed, becoming tedious over the considerable length of the novel. Still, there’s an enduring appeal in a plucky orphan who’s too big for her britches, and readers who appreciate the ghosts, visions, and other supernatural elements of the book, as well as the occasionally successful one-liner, may find sufficient intrigue and imagination here. AA - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.