Friday, January 27, 2012

Robbie Forester and the Outlaws of Sherwood Street



Robbie Forester and the Outlaws of Sherwood Street
by Peter Abrahams
Philomel, 2012. 294 pgs. Mystery/Fantasy

When Robbie (Robyn) heads out for school one cold morning, the homeless woman often seen begging on her street has tipped over on her side. And immediately the reader knows the essence of Robbie: no one else "had gone to her yet. So I did." As the woman is loaded into the ambulance, Robbie sees a braided leather bracelet with a silver heart charm fall off her wrist, but by the time she picks it up, the woman is gone. Thus is launched a noble band of four kids, who, with the magical power of the bracelet, have the rich's riches fall into their hands and deliver them up to the poor. Robbie and her Mom volunteer at a soup kitchen which is suddenly out of business when the landlord doubles the rent; their favorite Thai restaurant is going under for the same reason, as are the Red Goat Saloon and Rewind, a record--yes, vinyl LPs--store. Active only in the presence of injustice, the charm bracelet takes the kids from one danger to the next, giving them the power to do good, and delivers them in each case as well. A fantasy, a mystery, an adventure, and a feel-good story all in one, Robbie Forester and the Outlaws of Sherwood Street is a ripsnorting good read for older elementary-age kids and tweens, featuring some terrific kids out to right wrongs. The book can stand alone, but one hopes for a sequel, or two, or three.

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