The flap summary of this book makes the main character, Amanda "Rebel" Keeling, sound much worse than she actually is. Rebel turns out to be a fairly normal fourteen-year-old girl. She ends up spending the summer in her grandmother's new house helping to refurbish it. This is the first time rebel has been away from her large family and she has a bit of an adventure. Also living in the house is her grandmother's friend and her grandson, Moses. Moses and Rebel discover they have quite a few things in common and develop a quick friendship. The two discover a mystery their first night in the house. After many new clues, the two suddenly find themselves a bit over their heads and at a loss as to what they should do. While the story is a quick read, the plot is never fully developed. It could have been a bit more suspenseful in order to hold the readers' interest. In addition, the author alludes to a possible romantic relationship between Rebel and Moses, but this issue is never resolved. The book would be stronger with more details and character development. 2003, Atheneum Books/Simon & Schuster,
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 Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Amanda Jane has been called Rebel since she was two. At 14 (and nearly six feet tall), she's delighted to spend part of her summer in Seattle helping her unconventional Gram ready an old Victorian house for college-age boarders. Gram's friend and partner in homesteading is Vi, who has brought along her grandson. He's not only Rebel's age, he's 6 foot 6 and named Moses. Moses's video camera captures a robbery-in-progress at the local deli, and that sparks a series of events involving counterfeit money and Moses's Irish wolfhound. Showing the rooms between bouts of housepainting enables Rebel and Moses to trace who the perps might be, and Rebel's independent streak keeps the more sensible Moses from calling the police until it is almost too late. Rebel is clearly checking Moses out in a big way, and their byplay is rather more interesting than the contrived plotline. The possibility of a European tour with both grandmothers and the teen duo leave readers open for sequels. (Fiction. 10-13)