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.