High Sea Adventure

High Sea Adventure (Barbie and Friends Book Club) by Rita Balducci

This story takes place in the 1700s, with Barbie and Midge traveling with Midge’s father, a doctor, to deliver medicine to the Caribbean islands.

Hmm…

They stop at the Cayman Islands, where the girls meet Teresa Rivera, a young lady who is studying to be a nurse and who’s home they will be staying at while Midge’s father gets the hospital up and running.

The island is beautiful, and both Midge and Barbie see it as a paradise. However, this paradise has one bad snake-a pirate called Red Beard. He has been scavenging the locals exports, such as Teresa’s family’s sugarcane; along with stealing shipments of medicine. They hope the Navy captures him soon and ends his terrorizing of the seas. But even if they do, will they ever recover the things he stole?

Teresa shows them around the island when Midge spots a map shop. Hoping to find the perfect gift for her father, Midge goes inside. As she looks at maps she overhears men who look like pirates talking to the owner.

“Tell Red Beak the trade is made…Go to the mouth of the Little Bear.”

Afterwards, Midge tells Teresa and Barbie what she heard. They try to figure out what the message means, but no luck. Later that night, Midge is looking at the stars-trying to remember the names of the all the constellations when she spots Ursa Minor, the Little Dipper or Little Bear.

This strikes a cord with her and she pulls out the map she purchased earlier. There are a series of islands that line up just like that particular constellation. The mouth of the Little Bear the Pirates were talking about must be the cave that lines up with the “mouth” of the stars.

Immediately Midge runs to wake her friends. They go to tell Midge’s father so he can relay the information to the navy. But they are too late, he has already left to search for the pirate ship.

The girls decide it is up to them and they set out on one of Teresa’s family’s boats to test their theory. Will they find the pirate treasure? Or will this be a wild goose chase? Will they stop the pirate? Or be captured by them?

Thoughts After Reading:

This was always one of my favorites as a kid as it had pirates, adventure, and just a lot of fun.

I also loved how the girls save the day.

This is actually one of the better books in the series. In fact all the mysteries are.

For more Barbie books, go to The Silver Deer

For more pirate mysteries, go to Little Betty & Veronica: The Buried Treasure Mystery

For more Children’s books, go to The Turquoise Trail Mystery

For more historical fiction, go to The Butterfly and the Violin

The Turquoise Trail Mystery

The Turquoise Trail Mystery (Barbie and Friends Book Club) by Rita Baldacci

Barbie is a model working in Santa Fe, showcasing beautiful turquoise jewelry. She meets the designer, Rosa, and the two become instant friends.

Rosa is a Pueblo Native American and offers to show Barbie around the new and old parts of the region. As she hands her a map to show her where to go, Barbie remarks on the artistry of it and stumbles onto a mystery.

Rosa’s sister Susanna has been missing. She was a talented artist and wanted to leave the Southwest for New York City. Her grandfather, an elder in the tribe, did not want her to leave as he worried that she would forget her culture if separated from her people. After the fight, Susannah ran away.

And she isn’t the only thing to have vanished. Around that time a very important headdress, one used in an important ceremony, also disappeared. Until it can be recovered, no ceremonies are allowed to continue.

The jewelry photos come out perfect and Barbie gets time off. That works out perfectly as Rosa calls her up to invite her to come with her for an art show. They look at the paintings, but one of them puts Rosa into total shock! It is her grandfather in his headdress! It wasn’t signed but instead a symbol of scissors cutting through a blue line.

There are two other paintings by the same artist and when they look at the area where a signature should be, they discover two other symbols. One is a red half circle on a line, like a setting sun. The other had a box with a squiggly line coming out. Both remind Barbie and Rosa of the symbols that Susannah would use and decide they must be clues to lead to where she lives.

Hmm…

They look at a map and discover the Turquoise Trail, figuring that must be the blue line in the first painting/symbol and they make plans to investigate the next day. As the continue past ghost towns they come to near the end of the trail, going to Tijeras Canyon, figuring that is the scissors on the map (Tijeras means scissors in Spanish).

They later head down sunset road and find the symbol of the last painting to be group of trees by a river. As they continue down will they find what they are looking for? Susannah and the headdress? Or will this all have been one giant wild goose chase?

 

Thoughts After Reading:

It was an extremely cute story and I loved it. It is one of my favorite of the Barbie stories I received in the book club.

For more Barbie books, go to The Secret of the Three Teardrops

For more children’s books, go to The Silver Deer

For more mysteries involving a disappearance, go to Emilie and the Sky World

The Silver Deer

The Silver Deer by Rita Balducci and Gail Herman

I know these are supposed to go in a certain order, but the problem I have is that no site gives the same numbers associated to these books. I decided to just forget doing them in “order” and post.

Am I right?

Lady Barbie and Lady Midge are in their carriage an headed to a visit with friends, Lord Henry and Lady Eve. They are looking out the windows at the rainstorm when they spot a silver deer!

What?

Just then the rain causes the coachman to lose control and they crash with the carriage getting stuck in the mud.

A carriage comes by with the Lady Ann, daughter of the famous, wealthy, and powerful Lord Richard. They help get the carriage out and head to their castle.

Barbie and Midge try to ask Ann about the Silver deer, but then she is strangely sent into a coughing fit. She extends them an invitation to stay and sends someone to let Lord Henry and Lady Eve know about the change of plans.

After a restful nap, Lady Midge and Lady Barbie dress for dinner and greet the party assembled. Once again Barbie tries to talk about the Silver Deer, but Ann changes the subject again. 

A minstrel comes and plays a song for the feast:

I love the merry spring weather

That is coming here so soon.

The flowers grow quickly,

By the light of the sun and the moon.

The forest is so cool and dark,

Its path roam far and near.

Who knows what magic it does have,

Who knows of the silver deer?

But before he can finish, Ann changes the subject by requesting a different song.

What is this silver deer, and what does Ann know and is not telling?

For more Barbie books, go to The Secret of the Three Teardrops

For more Children’s books, go to Sam the Cat: Detective

For more historical fiction, go to The Falling Machine

The Secret of the Three Teardrops

The Secret of the Three Teardrops by Jacqueline A. Ball

This book was a part of the Barbie and Friends Book Club but wasn’t one of the usual in the series. Instead this was a special edition book that came with a Barbie dressed in the gown shown on the cover.

My mother gave the doll to my sister, as she was born in September and is a sapphire like the sapphire teardrops in the story. I got the book.

At first I was really mad about it, but then I realized as that isn’t a doll you can play with, it was better having the book.

Barbie is the director of the American Museum in Chicago. She has been working with other museums in America and Europe to form a traveling show of recreated Venetian ball gowns.

She is excited not only in putting the pieces together, but to be in Venice and able to partake in things she has always wanted to, like riding in a gondola, etc.

Yay!

Barbie is being shown around by Angelo Modesto, assistant director of the Venice City Museum.

Barbie meets Gina Morelli, the director, who shows her the dress she will be wearing at the Masquerade Ball to kick of the show’s opening. The dress is almost perfect, except for the replica’s of the famous Duchess Venezia’s teardrops. This is extremely bad for them as the photographer for World Art is coming to do a cover, but with no sapphires no story.

Gina then gets the idea to use the real teardrops. They can stitch them on, and then remove and replace them. Angelo doesn’t want to do it, but Gina is the boss.

As the dress is being stitched, Gina tells her the story behind the jewels.

Many year’s ago, a duke’s son fell in love with a beautiful, blue-eyed, blonde; Venezia. The family would allow no marriage to take place as Venezia is only a maid. The duke’s son tried to get Venezia to run away with him, but she refused to come between his family. The son was heartbroken and did nothing but sit on the garden bench where he used to spennd his time with Venezia. The parents became so sad to see their child that way and went and brought Venezia back. The parents and Venezia cry with joy, which awakens the duke’s son. After they are married, the Duke and Duchess give the couple three teardrop sapphires. Three for three generations (the parents, children, and the future kids); and for tears of healing, joy, and family love. The building that is the museum, used to be their house.

After the photo shoot, Toni, the dressmaker, removes the jewels and gives them to Angelo to put back in the museum.

Later Barbie goes sightseeing and shopping. She finds a book about the Duchess Venezia and sees her wedding gown, the one that Barbie will wear a replica of. But something is odd about this design, the sapphires were a much deeper blue than the ones that are currently on Barbie’s dress.

Hmm…

After Barbie gets to her hotel she looks at the dress that was just delivered, As she is looking at the accessories, she gets  call from Gina. Something terrible has happened and Barbie is needed right away.

Gina has been looking over the exhibit and noticed that the jewels needed to be rearranged. When she opens the case, she discovers that the jewels are not the real ones.

So who took the teardrops? The only people in the museum were the staff, so it is an inside job. But which staff member?

Angelo, who is clearly upset that Gina was chosen over him and has a key to the case? Toni, the dressmaker, who could have switched them when fitting Barbie? Or maybe this is all a smokescreen to cover that Gina is the thief?

Thoughts After Reading:

I loved this mystery!

It being in Venice, Barbie’s gown, and a treasure hunt.

Just fantastic!

For more children’s books, go to Binky Brothers, Detectives