Title: The Great Shelby Holmes
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Next Book in the Series: The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match
Genre: Middle Grade Mystery
Pages: Print 243
Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I checked out a copy of this book from my local library. The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher.
Meet spunky sleuth Shelby and her sports-loving sidekick Watson as they take on a dog-napper in this fresh twist on Sherlock Holmes.
Shelby Holmes is not your average sixth grader. She’s nine years old, barely four feet tall, and the best detective her Harlem neighborhood has ever seen—always using logic and a bit of pluck (which yes, some might call “bossiness”) to solve the toughest crimes.
When eleven-year-old John Watson moves downstairs, Shelby finds something that’s eluded her up till now: a friend. Easy-going John isn’t sure of what to make of Shelby, but he soon finds himself her most-trusted (read: only) partner in a dog-napping case that’ll take both their talents to crack.
Sherlock Holmes gets a fun, sweet twist with two irresistible young heroes and black & white illustrations throughout in this middle grade debut from internationally bestselling YA author Elizabeth Eulberg.
“I observe. Then I assemble all my observations into several different theories and pick the on with the likeliest narrative. It’s called deductive reasoning. I don’t understand why others don’t do it. I realize some people find my observations rude, but I don’t know when to stay quiet.” -Shelby-
This book is filled with a set of diverse characters. We follow the story of Shelby Holmes and John Watson, two unlikely friends who grow to learn something new from each other. John is new to the busy New York City, and he is looking for someone to guide him around his neighborhood. Shelby seems like a nice person who looks to be about his age, so why not follow her around for a bit. Shelby is not too excited about her new follower. Shelby is a smart, outspoken, seven year old who solves mysteries in her neighborhood. She doesn’t have friends she has contacts. Watson just moved to the community with his newly divorced military doctor mother. He is slowly adapting to his new neighborhood and trying to find his motivation to write again. The two unlikely pair are approached by Tamra after her prized show dog goes missing. Shelby and Watson search through clear clues while Tamra and her family argue over which one of them stole the dog. Will Shelby and Watson solve the mystery? Will Shelby accept Watson as a friend?
This is my first middle-grade mystery novel involving a stolen dog. The book was fascinating, but the idea of the family arguing with each other over who took the dog was a bit far-fetched. I also did not like the part in the story where Shelby was interacting with a “sketchy” character. I thought that part of the story was wholly inappropriate and should not have been included in the book. I could not believe this was in there. I also thought two young children exploring the streets of New York unsupervised was a bit unlikely in today’s society. I would have liked that part to be a little more realistic. I did like the idea of freedom of expression and the mystery solving tactics in this book. Some tactics were unnecessary but comical. The author did a great with this book by capturing the attention of the reader, and it makes me want to read the second one in this series. I thoroughly enjoyed each character, and I am hoping to learn more about Shelby Holmes’ family. I recommend this book to middle-grade students in the earlier grades. It is on the Texas Bluebonnet List.
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