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SNEAKING SUSPICIONS by Carolyn Coman Kirkus Star


by Carolyn Coman & illustrated by Rob Shepperson

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-59078-491-4
Publisher: Front Street/Boyds Mills

In this pleasantly rambling companion to Coman’s The Big House (2004), Ivy and Ray’s parents are finally out of prison, but Ivy anticipates further trouble when her father Dan announces his sudden desire to pay a visit to Gladys Mouton, a long-lost relative in Florida. As Ivy and her little brother Ray head off with their parents for a road trip, Ivy’s already active imagination kicks into overdrive. Why does Dan want to give this distant relative the giant ruby he found in a hollowed-out book? Who is this shady Wolfgang character who seems nice enough but might try to poison them? In the end—after a few roller-coaster rides, a stop at the Big Deposit Gem Mine and a boat ride through an alligator-infested lagoon with the leathery spitfire “Glad” Mouton—Dan surprises everyone again. Ivy’s constant attempts to decipher the world and her creative interpretations of terms such as “real estate” and “twice removed” (“Ivy couldn’t remember if that meant sent to jail two times or sent to two different jails”) are often hilarious. Shepperson’s comical and expressive pen-and-ink wash illustrations are also a delight. (Fiction. 8-12)