**** Recommended. I read it all the way through in one evening.
About 140 pages.
In short: Harry Potter meets the Arabian Nights. The main character is a girl, but boys play a strong role in this adventure as well.
The story starts out with Ruby, whose mother wants her to grow up to be a normal person, despite the fact that she has an obviously magic purse and gets mail from her mother by having the wind blow it to her. But red-headed Ruby isn’t cut out for a normal life (some people aren’t), and when her mother forbids her from going up to the attic the same day that her grandmother tells her that her birthday present is up there…well, goodbye normal.
I won’t be giving too much away if I say her birthday present strongly resembles the object in the title of the book.
However, the first thing that Ruby does with said present, after being magically and wonderfully (and thirstily) transported to a mysterious country in the desert, is LOSE it. It’s not her fault–she had no idea that magic carpets were so picky–but it’s her job to get it back from the evil half-genie madman who stole it from her.
Ruby’s life is a relentless timetable of classes, but it is turned upside down when a magic carpet (with attitude) whisks her to a Persian oasis. Here she makes two friends from very different backgrounds but a bold misadventure through an underground labyrinth has them hunted by a cunning lawyer. In an effort to save each other, the abducted magic carpet, and the entire genie population, their friendship and courage becomes their only hope. For the first time in her sheltered life, Ruby’s powers are tested to their limits, including those powers she still doesn’t know she has.
About Jodie Brownlee:
Jodie wanted to be a genie when she grew up. Then she discovered they could spend centuries locked in a bottle and now writes about them instead. When not writing about Ruby’s adventures, Jodie has adventures of her own. She’s crossed the Rajasthan desert on a camel, plied Asian rivers on an elephant, driven a tuk-tuk in Sri Lanka, dined in a haunted Scottish castle, swam horses in the sea, dived with sharks in Sydney Harbor, parachuted from an old Cessna biplane, visited a witch doctor in Africa, and explored overgrown temples in Cambodia. Jodie has now settled in Colorado with her husband and their adopted cat, Lola.
AND the beginning of the book:
WANTED: One Spontaneous and Unexpected Adventure
Zola McQuirky signed the letter with a flourish, slipped it inside an envelope and held a candle over the flap, sealing it with a few blobs of red wax. “Ruby girl, this will put some spice in your life.” Chuckling, she stamped the letter and flung it from the window. Her hair, a jumble of copper curls, swirled as the wind carried her letter away. This was no ordinary wind. It circled the world, sweeping through every street and town, and was known to those who used it as the Mail Wind.
For two days and two nights Zola McQuirky’s letter tumbled high above land and ocean, over deserts and mountains, cities and villages, until one evening it blew into a tidy street of a well-to-do suburb. Here the roads were shaded by ancient oak trees, the brass door knobs were polished until they reflected your face, and the hedges were trimmed into perfect boxes.
A beige Volvo pulled into the drive of number 12 Paddington Street. The car door was flung open and a girl leaped out. Her tutu jutted from beneath her duffle coat like a pink duck tail, and her red curls bounced as she stormed to the front door.
“They were all whispering. I heard them. They said I should just give it up, that I’m clumsy and that my red hair clashes with the tutu.” Ruby waited on the door mat for her mother. “And the worst thing is that it’s all true.”
“Nonsense,” said Mrs Rosemont, fishing in her tiny handbag for the front door key.
Ruby folded her arms. “I don’t even like ballet.”