Somebody stop Ivy Pocket by Caleb Krisp
Ill. by John Kelly. Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781408858677
(Age: 9+) Recommended. Caleb Krisp's quirky heroine returns in Somebody stop Ivy Pocket. She is now the adopted daughter of Ezra and Mother Snagsby, owners of a thriving business that offer generous discounts for pre-measured coffins. Ivy's role is to read a suitable, sombre funereal poem for the nearly departed and leave her parents to complete the transactions. Ivy is still guilty over the loss of her friend Rebecca and is helped by mysterious librarian, Miss Carnage, in her quest to find her whereabouts. Ivy must also protect the Clock Diamond from the evil Miss Always, who seems to be skulking around every corner!
Ivy's conversations are filled with irony, sarcasm and witticisms; she marches through her difficult life with aplomb. Being locked in her room is not a challenge, just the start of another adventure. She meets problems head on and always seeks to find the truth, even searching for the Snagsby's long lost daughter Adelaide. When the beautiful heiress Estelle asks Ivy to investigate the mystery behind her brother's death, of course she accepts the challenge.
Here is another fast-paced plot, filled with spies and villains, set against the backdrop of Victorian England, with dusty drawingrooms, solitary graveyards and a workhouse where Ivy is locked up. Magic and mystery abound, fate and fortune follow the brave heroine. This second book draws closely upon the threads of the first book Anyone but Ivy Pocket; they must be read in order. This narrative takes a little longer to engage with and is suited to a more confident reader who is happy to be drawn into the multi-layered plot.
John Kelly's fun black and white cartoons add a depth and insight into the difficult situations and quirky characters that Ivy Pocket faces.