Genre: Young Readers
Page Count: 162 pages
About The Book:
"Ruby thumbed through the map book without looking at the pages. She leaned her head against the window as they drove to the freeway, thinking about the word navigate which always reminded her of ships, which reminded her of the Navy, which reminded her of her father, far, far away from a house he would never see again."
Ruby Brock is having a hard year.
First, her Navy father was deployed overseas. Now the bank is foreclosing on her family home, forcing Ruby and her mother to move in with Ruby’s aunt, hundreds of miles away. Ruby can't bear to give up her home and her friends, and as Ruby and her mother travel through the mountains of California, a lonely, frustrated Ruby makes a wish—that her mother could be a child again.
The mountains grant her wish, and Ruby and her nine-year-old mother enter the Locking Place. A mysterious world hidden in the mountains, the Locking Place is filled with people who have lost more than they could bear, people who seem to stay there forever. The girls are left with nothing but the clothes on their backs and two quests: to find their way out of the Locking Place, and to turn Ruby's mother back into a grown-up. But the longer Ruby's mother remains in a child’s body, the more childlike she becomes. And the more determined she is to stay that way—and in the Locking Place—permanently.
An imaginative story premise, one that most children will have thought about at some point in their young lives. But like all wishes, if fulfilled, there may be elements that will take the wish much, much farther than ever conceived. This journey is what makes The Locking Place entertaining and thought provoking. The story is well written, and Ruby's thought patterns stay true to her age and desires.
~ Ruby's head felt wooly and wet inside, like her brain had decided to turn itself off. She stared at the little girl dressed in her mother's clothes, with her hair tumbling out of its bun down her shoulders.
Ruby reach out and touched the top of the head of the little girl who looked up to meet Ruby's eyes.
"Mommy?" Ruby said, in a tiny voice. ~ Page 17