Tuesday 20 August 2013

Ruby Redfort – Take Your Last Breath by Lauren Child

The sun flickered on the ocean, cutting bright diamonds of light into the surface of the indigo water.  A three-year-old girl was peering over the side of a sailboat, staring down into the deep.  The only sounds came from her parents’ laughter, the sing-song hum of a man’s voice and the clapping of the waves against the yacht.
   Gradually the sounds became less and less distinct until the girl was quite alone with the ocean.  It seemed to be pulling her, drawing her to it…confiding a secret, almost whispering to her.  
   She barely felt herself fall as she tipped forward and slipped into the soft ink of the sea.
   Down she twisted, her arms, her legs above her like tendrils.  The water felt smooth and perfectly cold; fish darted and silver things whisked by – her breath bubbled up as transparent pearls.
   Then suddenly, like a snap of the fingers, all the fish were gone; it was just the girl in the big wide ocean.
   But she wasn’t quite alone.
   There was something else.
Published by Harper Collins Children’s Books  on 6th June 2013
432 pages
Book Summary
All at sea?  Ok, here’s the lowdown…Ruby Redfort: secret agent, thirteen-year-old kid.  Super-smart, super-cool and not afraid of the water or anything in it.  Sharks?  Cut-throat pirates?  A giant tentacled sea monster?  No problem, buster.  Diving without oxygen, is NOT Ruby’s strong suit.  Can she do it?  There’s only one way to find out…
Reviewed by Georgina Tranter
Ruby Redfort made her first appearance in Lauren Child’s earlier books about Clarice Bean, and due to requests made by children around the globe, she was given her own series.  Take Your Last Breath is the second book.  Ruby is a sassy thirteen year old with a passion for wearing t-shirts with couldn’t care less slogans on them, such as excuse me while I yawn and a nose for spotting the out-of-the-ordinary.  In fact, she is so good at this, she is currently the youngest recruit at Spectrum, a spy agency set up to foil the plots and plans of evil geniuses capable of grand theft, extortion, fraud and murder.  She only heard of Spectrum six weeks ago, and it looks like she’s already on to her second case!
Strange things are happening at sea.  An agent has been found drowned.  Shipping cargo has been confused, unusual marine activity is taking place, and strange sounds have been heard.  But how, what and why?  And are these things connected at all?  Under her guise as a normal thirteen year old, Ruby sets out to solve this mystery, with a little help from her butler Hitch (secret agent) and best friend Clancy.  But can she do so in time?
I think this book is perfect for the 9-12 year old age bracket.  It’s easy to read, with lots of diagrams and puzzles to try to work out (the answers to the clues are given at the end) and most importantly, it’s fun.  I loved this book and am looking forward to the next Ruby Redfort adventure!  

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