Monday 4 June 2012

The Ruby Bottle

The Ruby Bottle The Ruby Bottle by Janet Reid, illustrations by Michaela Blassnig (IP Kidz) 
PB RRP $17.00; E-book $8.00
ISBN 9 781921 8691402   
Reviewed by Margaret Warner     

The bright colours and bold style of the cover of The Ruby Bottle invite readers to open the book to start the story. When Amber finds a dusty red glass bottle in the shed of her elderly neighbour, Mrs Heggety she feels certain that the bottle is meant for her to keep. It doesn’t take long before she discovers a secret: a curious djinn named Jimell lives in the beautiful red bottle. As she gets to know his story, he tells her that she must perform an important task but cannot say what it is.

While the story of the djinn in the bottle unfolds and the history of the bottle is revealed through Roger Heggety’s diary, another story interweaves through the narrative. Amber is lonely since her best friend, Bethany moved house and she is being bullied at school by Marissa and her friend, Rachel.

The two stories merge in a tale of mystery and adventure that subtly explores the theme of friendships and relationships: new and old friends as well as young and old friends. Jimell encourages Amber to believe in herself and through his friendship and that of a new friend, Ricco she gains confidence to be independent and achieve by herself … not by magic.

Readers aged 9 to 12 will be drawn into the intriguing mystery of The Ruby Bottle from the first pages till the final pages.

Margaret Warner is a children's author whose books often have an environmental theme. Her latest book is Lone Pine published by Little Hare Books. Margaret's website is 

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