The Search for Baby Ruby

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The Search for Baby Ruby
Author(s)
Genre(s)
Age Range
8+
Release Date
May 26, 2015
ISBN
978-0545417839
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The search for a missing baby drives this heart-pounding page turner, from Edgar Award Winner Susan Shreve (LUCY FOREVER AND MISS ROSETREE, SHRINKS). It was just a few minutes. Stuck in a hotel room babysitting while the rest of her family celebrated downstairs in the hotel, Jess thought she'd try on her sister's wedding dress in the large bathroom while the baby slept. But when Jess opens the door again the baby is gone. Fighting guilt and terror, Jess and her kleptomaniac sister Teddy evade the swirl of police and hotel staff in their own desperate effort to get Baby Ruby back before it's too late.

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Don't read while babysitting!
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Jess is staying in a hotel with her extremely dysfunctional family for her sister Whee's wedding. Her parents are divorced and at odds, her sister Teddy shoplifts so much that she's had to live in a home for troubled girls, and her brother Danny is a disorganized stay-at-home father to Ruby. When the babysitter for the rehearsal dinner falls through, Ruby is commanded to babysit. She's not happy about it, but she doesn't have a choice. While watching Ruby, she stays in the bathroom longer than she should, trying on Whee's wedding dress and makeup. When she comes out, the three month old Ruby is gone. Instead of immediately alerting authorities, she texts Teddy, and the two of them decide that they will start investigating on their own. Jess, who has an overly keen sense of smell, thinks that a woman she found crouched in a linen closet is probably the culprit, but when she goes in search of her, she gets dragged into a car and kidnapped herself. Eventually, she is tied up and abandoned on the side of the highway, but not before gathering a lot of clues as to the identity of the kidnappers. Will it be enough to find baby Ruby?

Jess is very typical of a middle grade girl—she wants to take care of the matter by herself but knows she needs some help. Her sister is a much better person to ask than her parents, because she knows that Teddy won’t be as angry or get her in trouble. In the course of the book, Jess begins to realize that seeking adult help is occasionally a better idea.

Middle grade readers are very fond of kidnapping stories like Peg Kehret's Abduction, Duffy's Missing, or Roberts' Hostage. The Search for Baby Ruby, however, is so vivid that it might not be the best choice to read when babysitting a small child at night!
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