Middle school students have reading interests that run the gamut from Diary of a Wimpy Kid to Twilight. Sometimes as a parent it is hard to know what is age appropriate for your child. Through this blog, I will try to help parents make informed decisions about what is available in our library. I am hoping that this blog will be a resource for our parents, and that we can all work together to make our students life-long readers!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Ruby Red

Ruby Red
by Kerstin Gier
From the publisher:
"Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!
Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon—the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.
Kerstin Gier's Ruby Red is a young adult novel full of fantasy and romance."

I really enjoyed this book.  A lot of it is set-up, but it was very interesting.  I loved the heroine, Gwenny.  She's really spunky.  Her voice sounds a little young for her age of 16, but I liked that about her.  In most YA books, the heroine has a secret that she can't tell anyone, so the best friend is left in the dark with hurt feelings.  Not so in this book.  Gwenny tells her best friend, Lesley, everything about her secrets even though she isn't supposed to.  I kind of loved that about her, and I loved the character of Lesley.  The prologue starts the book off with a bang, which you don't understand until the very end.  I had to go back and re-read the prologue as soon as I finished the epilogue and then went, "ah-haaaaa".  I also appreciated that there was no insta-romance.  There were two very creepy characters and it will be interesting to see what evil they will be up to in the next books.
The writing in this book is wonderful.  The credit for that should go to the translator, Anthea Bell (who also translated the Cornelia Funke Inkheart books), every bit as much as the author, Kerstin Gier.  It never felt like a translation to me.  There were some "British-isms" in it, but I loved those, and anyway it was set in London so it was natural. I look forward to reading the next 2 books in the trilogy.

Areas of concern:  Around 10 uses of the "d" word, one use of the "a" word, a couple vulgarities.  Overall it was a pretty clean read.

Suggested ages:
Publisher's Weekly - Ages 12+
School Library Journal - Grades 6+

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