|Search for Baby Ruby|
Author: Shreve, Susan
Twelve-year-old Jess O'Fines is resentful that she is expected to watch her baby niece in a Los Angeles hotel room while the rest of her dysfunctional family go off to a wedding rehearsal party -- but when Baby Ruby disappears, Jess is convinced she knows who kidnapped her and is determined to get her back on her own, whatever the danger.
Kirkus Reviews (03/01/15)
School Library Journal (-) (04/01/15)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (09/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 04/01/2015 Gr 4–6—Jess O'Fines is not the type of girl to cause any trouble. In fact, she's practically an expert on not making problems. The whole family, including both her divorced parents, have traveled to California to attend her sister Whee's wedding. Jess is looking forward to wearing her violet dress and spending the evening as her father's date. Her plans are crushed when her older brother neglects to get a babysitter for his daughter, Ruby. Jess is immediately saddled with the job. Things take a turn for the worse when Jess makes the mistake of going to the bathroom to try on her sister's dress and makeup with the door closed. When she comes out baby Ruby is gone. Sure that everyone will be utterly disappointed with her lack of responsibility, she tell no one but her other sister, Teddy. Jess must piece together the tiny clues to find Ruby: a man heading toward the room from the elevator and a strange woman hiding in the linen closet. As Jess leaves the hotel to search, she is kidnapped by the very people she seeks. Kids may be confused by the introduction of all of the characters at the start of the book and the mystery is somewhat slow to unfold. How did the culprits get into the room to take the baby and what were they doing in the hotel anyway? Why was Jess kidnapped? Some of the clues just don't seem to add up. Readers discover Jess's volatile relationship to the members of her family through the course of the story and that gives her feelings some context, but the actual kidnapping seems forced VERDICT A less-than-satisfying mystery.—Patricia Feriano, Montgomery County Public Schools, MD - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 05/01/2015 As children, sisters Jess and Teddy devised the game of Sleuth to while away the hours while they waited for their mother to come home from work. Now that game has become all too real. Jess was supposed to join Teddy and the rest of the family at the wedding rehearsal dinner for her older sister Whee—unfortunately, she is made to babysit Baby Ruby while the rest of the clan goes on to the party. Jess puts Ruby on a towel on the hotel-room floor and then wanders into the bathroom to experiment with Whee’s makeup collection. When she comes out, the baby is missing. Jess convinces Teddy to tell no one until they have a chance to sleuth around. But this isn’t a childhood game of make-believe; the baby is missing and may be in danger. Short chapters and a story that moves forward at a brisk pace will appeal to even reluctant readers, while Shreve’s careful attention to character development prevents this book from becoming formulaic. A satisfying mystery from a former Edgar Award winner (Lucy Forever and Miss Rosetree, Shrinks, 1987). - Copyright 2015 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 09/01/2015 It’s an indignity when twelve-year-old Jess is asked at the last minute to miss out on her sister’s wedding rehearsal dinner to stay in the hotel room and babysit her infant niece, Ruby. It’s a horror when Jess emerges from the bathroom after a protracted session with the bride-to-be’s dress and makeup to find Ruby gone. Panicked Jess ropes in her other sister Teddy, a sympathetic ally, and goes off in search of Ruby herself, believing that if she solves the crime she’ll be forgiven for the lapse that allowed it to happen. The sleuthing/suspense genre is usually an adult one for Edgar-winner Shreve, who in children’s lit is a familiar creator of well-honed domestic fiction. The mystery here is accompanied by some astute observations about character and familial dynamics (Jess, for instance, “played the part of the good daughter in the O’Fines family the way Teddy played the part of the bad one”). That shrewdness about humanity helps mitigate the deeply implausible aspects of the crime story, from the cops’ allowing Teddy and Jess to take charge to Jess’ being abducted as well. Ultimately, Jess is so sympathetic and her plight of responsibility gone wrong so palpable to young readers that they’ll overlook the plot holes to cheer her on. DS - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.