I bought this book about two weeks ago for my 8 year old bookworm, and I believe she’s read it cover to cover about three times so far. (True story.) So, that’s recommendation enough, right? But it’s the work of author and illustrator Lauren Child – whom you may know from the extremely charming Charlie and Lola books and cartoons, and the Clarice Bean series – so there’s no way it’s not a great book.
Ruby Redfort (a character in the Clarice Bean books, now with her own book) is a “genius code-cracker and daring detective, along with her sidekick butler, Hitch, working for a secret crime-busting organization called Spectrum.” What makes the book unique is that Lauren Child partnered with math professor Marcus du Sautoy, who created tricky math puzzles and codes especially for Ruby to solve.
It is a clever book and is especially well-suited for kids who are intrigued with spying and detective work.
There is a website here, with a code-breaking contest, a fun video and links to buy the book.
Book jacket design by David Mackintosh
Published in the US by Candlewick Press
From the archives: Summer reading recommendations for kids, including the Lauren Child illustrated version of Pippi Longstocking. Happy reading!