The Crys­tal Ball: A Rebec­ca Mystery

Jacque­line Dem­bar Greene; Ser­gio Giovine, illus.
  • Review
By – May 29, 2013
Rebec­ca Rubin’s neigh­bor, Mr. Rossi, is injured and can’t work as the apart­ment build­ing super so Rebec­ca helps Mr. Sil­ver, who is down on his luck, become the sub­sti­tute until Mr. Rossi is bet­ter. Soon, peo­ple in the build­ing dis­cov­er that valu­able pos­ses­sions are miss­ing. This always seems to hap­pen soon after Rebecca’s cousin Josef has been in their apart­ments. What’s more, one of Mr. Rossi’s pigeons deliv­ers a mes­sage warn­ing of dan­ger. Rebec­ca doesn’t believe that Josef could pos­si­bly be a thief, and she and her friend Sadie inves­ti­gate. Har­ry Hou­di­ni and an eerie for­tuneteller appear in this enjoy­able his­tor­i­cal mys­tery, part of the Rebec­ca Rubin, Amer­i­can Girl series. 

Fans of the oth­er books about Rebec­ca will be glad to see this new install­ment in the mys­tery series. Like the oth­er Amer­i­can Girls, Rebec­ca is plucky and eager to help those around her. Greene’s por­tray­al includes a ten­den­cy for Rebec­ca to act before she has thought things through, a qual­i­ty many read­ers may rec­og­nize in them­selves, mak­ing this a wor­thy addi­tion to the series. Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 8 – 11
Mar­ci Lavine Bloch earned her MLS from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land, a BA from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Penn­syl­va­nia and an MA in Eng­lish Lit­er­a­ture from Ford­ham Uni­ver­si­ty. She has worked in syn­a­gogue and day school libraries and is cur­rent­ly fin­ish­ing her term on the Syd­ney Tay­lor Book Award Committee.

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