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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this website.
Kids can learn about piecing clues together to tell a story. Following Ruby's investigations can help kids develop critical thinking skills and understand storytelling elements like sequential order. Topics such as Internet scams, water bottle waste, body language, and the Because I am a Girl female rights initiative are also covered. Granted, the site is geared toward girls more than boys, and users could benefit from getting more feedback on their guesses, but most items reinforce the lessons Ruby is learning. Fun webisodes and detective work encourage critical thinking skills.
A scam file lists recent Internet scams to watch out for; the site also features info about the waste single-use water bottles create, filed under a tag called the Skye Sisters' Campaign.
Violence & Scariness
A documentary video in the site's scam section has some references to violence.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A documentary video in the site's scam section warns that it contains a nudity (including a couple of glimpses of bare backsides, women in lingerie, and exposed breasts); the site tells younger kids to grab a parent to watch it with them.
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Comments appear instantly, but the site policy says administrators will remove any containing bad language. A documentary video contains words such as "piss" and "s--t." "S--t" is also used in reference to religious customs ("Besides, is any of this that much weirder than s--t like communion and circumcisions?").
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Products & Purchases
Ads precede some of the videos and site sponsors get some promotion, but an ad policy reminds kids "buying something Ruby owns won't turn you into a detective or make you more like Ruby."
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
During a tribal ceremony in a documentary video, a participant drinks what looks like an alcoholic beverage from a bottle, then offers a swig to a crying baby.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ruby Skye P.I. is a web-based series for tweens staring a 15-year-old detective named Ruby Skye who tracks down Internet scams. A documentary video on the site warns younger kids to watch with a parent because it contains some nudity; it also contains iffy language and alcohol. Kids need to submit their email address when posting a comment; however, the site doesn't share email addresses with any vendors or external sources.
Is It Any Good?
RUBY SKYE P.I.'s brief webisodes -- they're roughly 4 to 6 minutes long -- are professionally filmed and center around an ongoing storyline in which Ruby tries to track down the source of an Internet scam. (The quest actually begins with Ruby trying to figure out who stole her brownies.)
The show is entertaining and hits the right tone; Ruby is just clever enough without being condescending to anyone she interviews. The series also contains a fair amount of factual (and topical) info about Internet scams. Mystery solved: Ruby Skye P.I. is a ton of fun to watch!
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.