Robbie Forester and the Outlaws of Sherwood Street

Peter Abrahams. Philomel, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-399-25502-1
Edgar Award–winner Abrahams (Reality Check) shifts gears slightly, adding conspiracies and superpowers to the mystery mix in a loose contemporary update of the Robin Hood legend, set in Brooklyn, N.Y. Seventh-grader Robyn, aka Robbie, witnesses a dying homeless woman drop a charm bracelet as she’s taken onto an ambulance, and the bracelet causes Robbie to manifest strange powers in times of stress. She has plenty of stress coming her way when she learns that the homeless shelter where she and her mother volunteer is being closed, thanks to rent gouging by mysterious millionaire Sheldon Gunn, who is employing Robbie’s mother’s law firm to help him. Gunn is also behind attempts to close other local institutions, and when Robbie shares the secret of the bracelet with her frenemy, Ashanti, and her former classmate, Tut-Tut, they are all drawn into a fight for justice. Abrahams strikes a successful balance between whimsy and serious issues caused by economic injustice, while keeping the action and mystery moving forward at a brisk pace. Ages 10–up. Agent: The Friedrich Agency. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 12/05/2011
Release date: 01/19/2012
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