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Lock and Key Reprint Edition
Contributor(s): Dessen, Sarah
ISBN: 0142414727     ISBN-13: 9780142414729
Publisher: Speak
    OUR PRICE: $13.19  
Product Type: Paperback - Other Formats
Published: May 2009
Annotation: The "New York Times"-bestselling author of "Just Listen" explores the heart of a gutsy, complex girl dealing with unforeseen circumstances and learning to trust again.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Abandoned children; Fiction.
Self-actualization (Psychology); Fiction.
Family; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: bl2009012590
Lexile Measure: 840
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.25" H x 5.50" W x 1.50" (0.95 lbs) 422 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 121303
Reading Level: 5.3   Interest Level: Upper Grades   Point Value: 17.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q43512
Reading Level: 5.5   Interest Level: Grades 9-12   Point Value: 26.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Publisher Description:
Ruby is used to taking care of herself. But now sheas living in a fancy new house with her sister Coraaa sister she hasnat seen in ten yearsaand her husband Jamieacreator of one of the most popular online networking sites. Sheas attending private school, wearing new clothes, and for the first time, feels the promise of a future that include college and her family. So why is she so wary? And what is Natea the adorable and good-hearted boy next doora hiding behind his genial nature? As Ruby starts to see, thereas a big difference between being given help, and being able to accept it. And sometimes, in order to save yourself, youave got to reach out to someone else.

Contributor Bio(s): Sarah Dessen is the author of thirteen novels, which include the New York Times bestsellers The Moon and MoreWhat Happened to GoodbyeAlong for the RideLock and KeyJust ListenThe Truth About Forever, and This Lullaby. Her first two books, That Summer and Someone Like You, were made into the movie How to Deal
Dessen’s books are frequently chosen for the Teens’ Top Ten list and the list of Best Fiction for Young Adults. They have been translated into twenty-five languages. Sarah Dessen is the recipient of the 2017 Margaret A. Edwards Award from the Young Adult division of the American Library Association.
Sarah Dessen graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with highest honors in creative writing. She lives in Chapel Hill with her husband, Jay, and their daughter, Sasha Clementine.
Visit Sarah at

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2008 #2)
When social services discovers that her neglectful mother has left altogether, seventeen-year-old Ruby is placed in the care of her married sister Cora, whom she hasn't seen in years. Warily acclimating to a new world of privilege, loner Ruby strikes up a tentative friendship with neighbor Nate, a personable, thoughtful golden boy whose life is not what it appears. When Ruby realizes that Nate's father is abusive, she struggles with how best to help someone who, much like herself, doesn't want to be helped. The intricacy of relationships that is Dessen's signature shines here, not just in the almost-romance with Nate but in the sisters' rebuilt relationship, Ruby's memories of her mother, and even Cora's loving but un-idealized marriage. The narrative's tendency to skate past key events, detailing the buildup and aftermath but skipping the thing itself, may frustrate those who want every juicy detail. Still, the in-depth exploration of issues of family, trust, and responsibility gives readers plenty to chew on, and the complex, deeply sympathetic characters are pure pleasure to spend time with. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2008 February #3)

Dessen (Just Listen ; see Profile) inverts a familiar fairy tale: What if Cinderella got the prince, the castle and all its accoutrements, but wasn't remotely interested? After her mother abandons her, Ruby Cooper is flying below the radar of officialdom and trying to make it to her 18th birthday, when she's busted by the landlord and turned over to social services. Ruby is taken in by her estranged sister, Cora, who left for college a decade earlier and never looked back, and Cora's husband, Jamie, the wealthy founder of a popular social networking site. Resentful, suspicious and vulnerable, Ruby resists mightily, refusing the risky business of depending on anybody but herself, and wearing the key to her old house around her neck. All the Dessen trademarks are here—the swoon-worthy boy next door who is not what he appears to be, and the supporting characters who force Ruby to rethink her cynical worldview, among them the frazzled owner of a jewelry kiosk at the mall. The author again defines characters primarily through dialogue, and although Ruby and her love interest, Nate, sound wiser than their years, they talk the way teens might want to—from the heart. A must for Dessen fans, this will win her new readers, too. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)

[Page 155]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2008 May)

Gr 7 Up— Ruby, 17, is taken in by her older sister and brother-in-law when her mother abandons her. Ruby and her sister haven't spoken since Cora left for college a decade earlier. She moves from a semi-heated, semi-lighted farmhouse to a McMansion in a gated community. The theme of abandonment permeates the narrative-Ruby's mother's disappearance, Cora's perceived abandonment, and all of the small abandonments around every corner throughout Ruby's life. The plot hinges luxuriously on character arc. Ruby's drama of pathological self-reliance to eventual trust plays out through thoughtful, though occasionally heavy-handed, inner monologue and metaphor. As always, Dessen's characters live and breathe. Ruby's sweet hipster brother-in-law and Nate, the freakishly affable hottie next door, are especially vivid, and Cora's change from bitter control freak to sympathetic co-protagonist is subtle and seamless. Though Ruby and Nate don't have quite the cinematic chemistry of many of Dessen's couples, their cautious friendship into romance seems that much more realistic. The author's feel for setting is as uncanny as ever, and Ruby's descriptions of the homogenous nouveau riche Anytown are sharp, clever, and honest. The dialogue, especially between Ruby and Cora, is crisp, layered, and natural. The slow unfolding adds to an anticipatory mood. What's more, secrets and situations revealed in the second half of the novel are resolved more believably by already deeply developed characters. Recommend this one to patient, sophisticated readers.—Johanna Lewis, New York Public Library

[Page 121]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.