Fool’s Errand (Beat Street #2)
Dragon Moon Press
Published November 20, 2018
About Fool’s Errand
When her best friend Sophie goes missing, 12-year-old Ruby Tabeata has a choice: wait for her friend to come home or defy her parents and find Sophie.
Set during the 1950s Blacklist era when writers like Sophie’s mom were being jailed or fired, Fool’s Errand sends Ruby out of her city and her comfort zone.
With nothing to rely on but her grit and determination, Ruby has to outsmart the men chasing Sophie and her mom—discovering that whether or not you succeed, trying to save a friend is never a fool’s errand.
Just like in THE BEAT ON RUBY’S STREET, I found Ruby’s character really fun and realistic. I loved the way she explains things, and her loyalty and devotion to the people she loves. I thought it was interesting watching her relationships with her parents grow and change. It felt like she was figuring out some important things.
The setting explores a bit of the Blacklist era and what happens when someone is reported to have been at meetings with Communists in the 1950s. Ruby and her friends help her best friend’s mom hide from men sent by the House Committee on Un-American Activities. In some of those scenes, Ruby is largely a bystander, watching and comforting her friend while the adults figure out what to do next. She does take an active role in helping at times, though.
On the whole, I still enjoyed the characters and the ways the social issues of the day impacted the story and Ruby’s family and friends. I think fans of THE BEAT ON RUBY’S STREET will enjoy seeing another adventure from their favorite Beat poet.
Recommended for Ages 10 up.
Major characters are white. One of Ruby’s family’s friends is black.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
A couple racial slurs used. While these may have been commonly used during the 1950s, I wish the author had used different words or written a note in the book explaining why those words were used.
UPDATE 11/10/20: Jenna Zark has added a note in the book explaining the use of the racial slurs that appear in the story.
Ruby very briefly mentions learning from a Yogi.
Ruby listens to two adults talking about the Civil Rights protests and how police are using dogs and fire hoses and people have died protesting.
Note: I received a free copy of FOOL’S ERRAND in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support the costs of running this blog.