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Ruby Redfort Look Into My Eyes (Book #1) Hardcover – March 27, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Ruby Redfort Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4–8—Child's newest character is actually an old fictional favorite of her previous protagonist Clarice Bean (Clarice Bean, That's Me, Orchard, 2014). In this first adventure, 13-year-old Ruby Redford, a genius code-breaker with Sherlock Holmes-like observational skills, finds herself unwillingly working for the international spy agency Spectrum after the entire contents of her house are stolen. With her best friend, Clancy Crew, no-nonsense housekeeper Mrs. Digby, and svelte butler/undercover Spectrum agent Hitch, wise-cracking Ruby may just solve the case and, with the help of some spectacular gadgets, even save the world. Rachael Stirling brings to life the dry-witted, sometimes snarky heroine, but listeners may either love Clancy's nasal whine or find it appropriately annoying. Some of the code-breaking challenges are made more difficult without the accompanying images, but those can be found on the website rubyredfort.com. VERDICT Recommended for students who love Nancy Drew or other mysteries with female protagonists.—Chani Craig, Converse Middle School, Palmer, MA --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.


In this funny and action-packed first installment of an adventure series from Child, Ruby (who Child’s fans will recognize as her character Clarice Bean’s favorite fictional heroine) quickly becomes bored with her first Spectrum assignment, poring over the files of a code-breaking agent who met an untimely demise. With the help of her sidekick/classmate Clancy Crew, she ventures out from her well-hidden office into more dangerous territory... Child’s sardonic narration will grab readers from the get-go, and puzzles laced throughout will intrigue those who share Ruby’s passion for solving mysteries.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

The detective-heroine of RUBY REDFORT LOOK INTO MY EYES may be small for 13, but she's a prodigy: brilliant, tenacious and observant to an almost Sherlockian degree... As Ruby and her best friend, Clancy Crew (no relation to Nancy Drew, surely) dash about following hunches, they're drawn into a whirl of comedy and menace, espionage and cryptograms, naive townspeople and baleful baddies... Ms. Child's appealing wiseacre tone keeps the mood buoyant throughout, even when it looks as if Ruby herself may be . . . toast.
—The Wall Street Journal

Readers familiar with Child’s Clarice Bean chapter books will be delighted to see Clarice’s mystery- solving hero, Ruby Redfort, star in her own book, a delightful homage to Louise Fitzhugh’s classic HARRIET THE SPY (1964)... This series opener shows much promise, with a swift pace, clever dialogue, and many codes and puzzles scattered throughout. Bold graphics, well-placed chapter breaks, and just enough irony will appeal to middle school readers who grew up with Clarice Bean. Child’s light, bright wit is in fine form here.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 800L (What's this?)
  • Series: Ruby Redfort (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; 1st edition (March 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763651206
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763651206
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.3 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,024,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Pop Bop TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
First off, this book seems to be for an older crowd than the Clarice Bean readers. Younger kids might read this and enjoy it, but a lot of the humor and style seems to be aimed a little higher.

Ruby is a remarkably strong and well-developed character. There is a certain amount of that 13 year old snark that is more or less required in this type of book, but Ruby's 13-ness has some personality and originality, and is not at all just standard issue teen kvetching. It's hard to have a teen heroine who is a wiseacre and yet still is engaging, but Child pulls off this balancing act. Right there the book won me over. Even when there is the occasional false note, (sometimes Ruby can sound too adult or a little too smart mouth), the book immediately breezes on to a more appealing scene.

Parents are standard issue lame, but Lauren Child makes them so hilariously and disastrously clueless that they actually become engaging characters in their own right, instead of just annoying afterthoughts. (Think of Bertie Wooster types as parents.)

Ruby's sidekick, Clancy Crew, (Nancy Drew?), is funny and sharp and loyal, and so works as an interesting second banana, not just a dopey foil.

The whole framing story - that Ruby is a super observant, super dedicated detective/code breaker - sets up nicely and works just fine. There's espionage and cryptograms and close calls and escapes and villains, but it's not the plot, it's the personable and engaging Ruby, that keeps the book going.

So, here's my bottom line. Everything in this book is just a bit, (or a lot), better than the usual. There are sarcastic observations about school, but more perceptive and funnier than usual. There are amusing thoughts about friends, and clothes, and parents, but more acute and engaging. It's all just sharper, hipper, more distinctive, more creative, and more original than other similarly targeted books. Seems to me that's about the best you could ask for.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is our THIRD purchase of this book!
We found out about the series from a teacher friend- whose own daughters enjoyed them. (Purchase #1)
Loved it so much we bought a .1 cent "like new" copy for her classroom (#2)
Another for a cousin's BD who loves mystery/action books - who also loves it and is waiting to get book 2. (#3.)

The main character, Ruby Redfort, is a smart, sassy girl who is recruited as a "code cracker" into a secret spy organization. Her best friend, Clancy, is as loyal as can be, and her family/household staff are extremely devoted to her - and she to them. With Ruby being in middle school, there are a few other kids in the book. Minor characters but clearly defined.

My daughter is 11, in the 6th grade. She is a voracious reader. She's gone through Harry Potter a couple of times, The Fablehaven Seiries, The Beyonders, The various Rick Riordian adventures, The Leventhump Series and plenty of the classics along the way. The Ruby Redfort Series has been a delightfully bright spot in her reading journey. We both read the book. Both loved it! For MY part, I found myself laughing out loud at her wry wit and being very touched by the lessons she was learning on the way. My favorite things? The author has a strong, smart female in the lead here, using her brain and her wits to solve the problems that come her way. BUT - this isn't a book about a girl with heavy emotions or trials that lay ahead. It's about a really smart kid who thinks on her feet, making things up as she goes if needed. The fact that she's a girl doesn't really factor into the equation. (A good dose of Hermione Granger, mixed with Ferris Bueller, perhaps?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My 13 year old daughter read and reviewed this: Ruby Redford's 'Look into My Eyes' is a really cool book but they use slang like 'gotta' and 'gonna' a lot which is a bit irritating. I would give four stars. Great story line and I cannot wait to read the next ones!
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Format: Hardcover
Ruby Redfort Look Into My Eyes is a quirky and amusing middle-grade mystery. Our main character is a thirteen year old girl named Ruby Redfort, who is well practiced in the art of being a detective, despite her young age. A new household manager a.k.a. butler named Hitch shows up, and Ruby discovers Spectrum, a secret agency. There seems to be a plot to steal the large shipment of gold coming to the bank. But not everything is what it seems...

Ruby Redfort was written in a sort of hard-boiled detective manner, which was very amusing, as Ruby is just 13 years old. The mystery was suspenseful, and I wasn't sure who was behind it until the very end. There's a lot going on in this book, which I got from Candlewick Press.

I liked Ruby's character; she was smart, cheeky, and (mostly) on top of things. And all the descriptions of super-cool gadgets were amazing (oh, how I would love to have some of those!) I would definitely recommend this mystery.

All of my reviews can be read at my blog [...].
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A Kid's Review on June 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I read the book in about two weeks. During those two weeks, that was the only book that I read, and I read it at every opportunity. Lauren CHild is one of my favorite authors, next to Rick Riordan and Suzanne Collins. If you liked Ruby Redfort, then you should also read the Clarice Bean trilogy by Lauren Child. This is where you first become introduced to Ruby by Clarice Bean and her best friend Betty Moody. In Clarice Bean, Utterly Me, you learn about the fantastic series of books starting with A Girl Called Ruby.
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