The Ring of Rocamadour: The Red Blazer Girls, Bk. 1

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
The Ring of Rocamadour: The Red Blazer Girls, Bk. 1 Book Poster Image
Delightful girl sleuth story with puzzles.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 10+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

The girls do some sneaking around in a church, and are not entirely honest with adults.


A kiss.


Some mild swearing: "hell," "damn," "bite me," "crap."


Shoe, cigarette, sneaker, deli, food, department store brands mentioned.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults smoke, a reference to a child smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there is some mild swearing here, a few brands, some smoking, and that the main characters engage in some sneaky and dishonest behavior, though for a good cause.

User Reviews

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Teen, 13 years old Written bystargirl24 February 5, 2011

It's OK, not the best book i've read!

This book isn't exactly bad. I think that teenagers would get bored with it though, they would think that the book is pretty pointless. The age limit shoul... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byMcAdam January 14, 2011

A Very Mysterious Yet Slightly Mathy Book

This book is an excellent book to read for readers who love mystery. It involves a lot of math within the clues Sophie and her friends find, but overall I compl... Continue reading

What's the story?

When four New York Catholic school middle-schoolers meet the old lady who lives next door to their school, they are drawn into a mysterious series of puzzles and clues set long ago by the lady's now-dead father. Centering on the church attached to their school, the clues involve math, art, literature, religion, philosophy, and more, and may lead to an ancient treasure -- the Ring of Rocamadour. But someone else is after the ring too, and the girls are not sure whom they can trust -- except each other.

Is it any good?

For kids who love mysteries laden with puzzles and clues, this will be sheer delight. Those who enjoy reading, and clues from literature, art, religion, and philosophy will love it even more. And those who love math will be ecstatic, as math is the central unifier of the clues. None of the clues or puzzles will be too terribly challenging to the kind of brainy kids who will gravitate to this, and in any case, they are all explained (occasionally at rather greater length than some readers will have patience for). But trying to solve them enhances the fun of the story.

That story, told in the first-person, present-tense, humorous voice of Sophie, would be a hoot even without the puzzles. The villains, only mildly villainous and mostly offstage, are almost distractions to the main pleasure -- watching this charming group of girls work together to solve a clever scavenger hunt made up of clues that reference Dickens, Aquinas, equations and coordinate geometry, anagrams, and Catholic traditions (the author teaches in a Catholic girls' school much like the one in the book). This first book in an intended series will doubtless have young fans waiting eagerly for the next installment.

From the Book:
Every fall, Mr. Eliot hosts this wacky event he calls "A Dickens of a Banquet." He dresses up like Charles Dickens and reads from his favorite novels, and the cafeteria ladies serve a traditional old-fashioned English meal of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, and Brussels sprouts, and something rumored to be fig pudding for desert. (My dad raised a suspicious French eyebrow when I explained the concept of the Dickens banquet. "An English feast? I think not.")

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the mystery. Were you able to

  • figure out any of the clues in advance? Do you understand the math? Did

  • you get the code for the message at the very end?

Book details

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