Cover image for The ruby in the smoke
Title:
The ruby in the smoke
Author:
Pullman, Philip, 1946-
Personal Author:
Edition:
First Laurel-Leaf edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Dell Laurel-Leaf, 2000.
Physical Description:
230 pages ; 18 cm
Summary:
In nineteenth-century London, sixteen-year-old Sally, a recent orphan, becomes involved in a deadly search for a mysterious ruby.
General Note:
Originally published: New York : Knopf, 1985.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
750 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 5.3 9.0 25239.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 6.5 14 Quiz: 09876 Guided reading level: Y.
Subject Term:
ISBN:
9780394895895

9780375845161
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

In search of clues to the mystery of her father's death, 16-year-old Sally Lockhart ventures into the shadowy underworld of Victorian London. Pursued by villains at every turn, the intrepid Sally finally uncovers two dark mysteries--and realizes that she herself is the key to both. "In Dickensian fashion, Pullman tells the story of 16-year-old Sally Lockhart, who becomes involved in a deadly web of events as she searches for a mysterious ruby. The novel is a page turner, peopled with despicable hags, forthright heroes, and children living on the underbelly of 19th-century London. The story's events are exciting, with involved plotting. Settings and characterizations are exquisitely drawn. The first entry in a planned trilogy."--(starred)Booklist.Reading level: 6.7.  


Author Notes

Philip Pullman was born in Norwich on October 19, 1946. He graduated from Oxford University with a degree in English. He taught at various Oxford middle schools and at Westminster College for eight years. He is the author of many acclaimed novels, plays, and picture books for readers of all ages. His first book, Count Karlstein, was published in 1982. His other books include: The Firework-Maker's Daughter; I Was a Rat!; Clockwork or All Wound Up; and The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ. He is also the author of the Sally Lockhart series and the His Dark Materials Trilogy. He is the author of The Book of Dust, volume 1. He has received numerous awards including the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Fiction Award for Northern Lights (The Golden Compass), the Whitbread Book of the Year Award for The Amber Spyglass, the Eleanor Farjeon Award for children's literature in 2002, and the Astrid Lindgren Award in 2005.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In Dickensian fashion, Pullman tells the story of 16-year-old Sally Lockhart (recently orphaned by the death of her father), who becomes involved in a deadly web of events as she searches for a mysterious ruby. The author's plot winds and slithers, making it almost impossible to recount in a few sentences. Suffice it to say, the novel is a page turner, peopled with despicable hags, forthright heroes, and children living on the underbelly of nineteenth-century London while the sweetly sickening smell of opium smoke permeates the whole. The story's events are so exciting that when the denouement with its explanations finally comes, it is anticlimactic. Moreover, with such involved plotting, it will most likely take a second reading to find out if everything actually hangs together, and readers may want to do just that. Settings and characterizations are exquisitely drawn, and Pullman's language is as decorative as a Victorian parlor. This is the first entry in a planned trilogy. Gr. 8-10. IC. Mystery and detective stories / Orphans Fiction / London Fiction [CIP] 86-20983


Publisher's Weekly Review

Pullman's Victorian melodrama boasts a sufficiency of mystery, murder and hairbreadth escapes involving a big cast of honest and ignoble types. ``On a cold, fretful afternoon in early October 1872,'' the story begins, young Sally Lockhart is in London where she tries to find out the meaning of ``the Seven Blessings.'' The phrase appears in a message from her recently deceased father, drowned in the South China Sea. When a colleague of her father hears the words, he dies instantly of a heart attack. That event marks the start of crises that go on with no let-up in the colorful Dickensian tale. Sally's legacy, supposedly a fantastic ruby, is nowhere to be found. A gang of cutthroats pursue the girl and her loyal allies, as the story sweeps on to a resounding close. (12-up) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up A rip-roaring good adventure story filled with cutthroat villains, dastardly deeds, sleezy opium dens, filthy London slums, and a delightful 16-year-old heroine. Sally, orphaned when her father dies at sea, becomes ensconsed in mystery and treachery when she learns that a legendary ruby is rightfully hers. With the help of two friends, she sidesteps several attempts on her life, helps rescue a young girl from the clutches of a ruthless blackmailer, and finds the hidden fortune that her father had left her. There are twists and turns at every moment, with new characters constantly entering and old ones exiting (not by their own choice). Descriptions are vivid, colorful, and fully realized. Subtle innuendos enhance character development, and the understated humor keeps readers from taking the story too seriously. There are a few lapses in plotting and several contrivances, but these are minor flaws in a story that pulls together to become a rousing tale of murder and adventure in London in 1872. It's a book for sophisticated readers because of the variety of motivations and schemes as well as the shifts in setting within chapters, and one that's not for the timid because of the many murders. Trev Jones, ``School Library Journal'' (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.