Friday, December 15, 2017

Ruby and Olivia by Rachel Hawkins - OPTIONAL

Hawkins, Rachel Ruby and Olivia Pgs. 240. G. P. Putnam’s Sons (Penguin Random House), 2017. $16.99. Language: G, Mature Content: G; Violence: G.

Olivia and Emma are twins. Ruby is Emma’s former friend, who Olivia is sure has led Emma astray. When Olivia takes the fall for Emma’s shoplifting stunt, she can’t believe she is going to be stuck in detention camp all summer with Ruby while her sister gets to spend her summer at the “fun” camp. Olivia never expects to become friends with Ruby, but when the detention director puts the kids on clean-up duty at the old Live Oak mansion, that’s exactly what happens. Oddly, Ruby and Olivia seem to be the only ones who can detect the mysterious things going on at the mansion. After one boy gets hurt, they realize they must work together to solve the mystery, even if that means Olivia must commit a crime for real.

This is a book about friendship set within the context of a mystery/ghost story. Ruby and Olivia both think there is little chance of them ever being friends. In the beginning, they both judge one another and find the other annoying. As they spend more time together, they realize there is a lot to like in the other. This can teach kids about looking for the good in people and not pre-judging. The ghost story aspect will also appeal to kids who like a mystery. The ending is a little far-fetched, similar to the movie Monster House, but most kids will like the extreme paranormal ending. Chapters alternate narration between Ruby and Olivia. It’s fun to see the developing friendship from both girl’s perspective.

EL – OPTIONAL. Reviewer: Valerie McEnroe, Media Specialist

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