Cover image for Rebel
Roberts, Willo Davis.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, [2003]

Physical Description:
153 pages ; 22 cm
When her grandmother decides to ditch assisted living and start a boarding house, fourteen-year-old Amanda Jane Keeling, or Rebel, signs on for the work crew, where she just happens to meet a teenaged boy taller than she is and to embroil them both in a mystery.
Reading Level:
940 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.8 6.0 70399.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 5.8 10 Quiz: 38132 Guided reading level: W.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Her name was Amanda Jane Keeling, but from the time she was two, everyone called her Rebel.Rebel's first word was "No!" And it was downhill from there. As a toddler she resisted strained spinach and potty training. At five, she refused to go to kindergarten. Now at fourteen, she has toned down her rebellious streak somewhat, but whenever faced with a challenge she still feels the need to confront it head on, despite the opinions or advice of others.When Rebel and her friend Moses -- the only boy she's ever met who can match her in both wit and height -- witness some strange goings-on, instead of going straight to the police, they decide to investigate the matters themselves. A bizarre robbery, an open door in the middle of the night, muddy footprints...all these clues lead Rebel and Moses to more questions than answers. But still they won't go for help. Little do they know the danger that awaits them....

Author Notes

Author Willo Davis Roberts was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on May 29, 1928. Her first novel, Murder at Grand Bay, was published in 1955. The View from the Cherry Tree was originally meant to be an adult novel, but was then sold as a children's book; it was published in 1975 and started her career as a children's mystery writer. Roberts wrote a total of ninety-nine children and adult books during her lifetime and won numerous awards including the Mark Twain award for The Girl with the Silver Eyes (1980) and Baby-Sitting Is a Dangerous Job (1985) and the Edgar Allen Poe Award for Megan's Island (1988), The Absolutely True Story of My Visit to Yellowstone with the Terrible Rupes (1994), and Twisted Summer (1996). She died on November 19, 2004 from congestive heart failure.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 4-6. Despite her name and early contrarian beginnings, 14-year-old Rebel, who is really a pretty agreeable girl, opts to spend some time with her grandmother, helping to rehab an old boarding house in Seattle. There she meets 15-year-old Moses, an aspiring filmmaker and the grandson of Gram's business partner, Viola. While walking a dog, the young people inadvertently videotape a robbery/counterfeiting incident. They realize they should turn the matter over to the police, but the chance to solve the crime on their own is very appealing, even in the face of the danger that it causes them and their families. Roberts usually excels at mystery plotting and suspense, and this novel is no exception, with criminal suspects lining up to rent rooms from Gram at an alarming rate. Although Rebel seems to spend an inordinate amount of time privately considering Moses' marriage potential (his major attraction--he is taller than her five feet, 10 inches), this is an entertaining mystery that will attract readers of all sizes. --Kay Weisman Copyright 2003 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-8-Amanda Jane Keeling, 14, has answered only to the name "Rebel" since she was two. When her grandmother, sick of the confinements of assisted living, joins an elderly friend, Viola, in buying an old rooming house near the University of Washington, Rebel and Vi's grandson, Moses, are asked to help paint, clean, and get the house ready for roomers. Rebel, at 5'10", is immediately taken with the 6'6" Moses. Much to his father's dismay, Moses wants to write, direct, and produce films rather than enter law. He carries an old video camera around, inadvertently filming a young man as he is grabbing back a $20 bill after purchasing a candy bar at the local mom-and-pop store. This brief encounter sets in motion a nighttime break-in at the old house, a nearly missing Irish wolfhound, and the cracking of a band of young counterfeiters, and, in the end, the teens realize that they should have called on the police sooner rather than sleuthing on their own. Rebel is an engaging, independent character; the photo on the jacket will appeal to middle school kids. Unfortunately, the mystery unfolds too slowly to hook them, and this uneven pacing leaves all of the suspense until the very end.-Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.