Review Blog

Apr 16 2018

The great Shelby Holmes meets her match by Elizabeth Eulberg

cover image

Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781408871492
(Age: 8-10) Recommended. Themes: Detective stories, School stories, Juvenile Diabetes. Feisty nine-year-old girl detective Shelby Holmes returns to solve a new mystery and confront an old enemy. With her friend and mystery-solving partner John Watson they are ready to face new challenges. Both are attending a new school - the Harlem Academy of the Arts, in the same year level because Shelby's 'brain attic', her knowledge and deductive abilities have helped her skip two grades.
John has experienced new schools and different places and as an army kid, and is confident about their fitting in, however he's concerned about Shelby's unique style, her lack of reading social cues and bluntly pointing out everyone's secrets which causes problems. Shelby delves into the background of the mysterious new teacher Mr. Crosby and his missing heirloom watch. They face problems caused by Shelby's nemesis Moira who hacks the school director's email, steals Mr. Johnson's watch and locks Shelby and John up in a basement boiler room. Here, John who has juvenile diabetes suffers a medical incident and Shelby desperately and creatively finds someone to help him.
Eulberg includes numerous references to the original Sherlock Holmes stories, which may be beyond her reading audience's background knowledge. Interestingly, she includes descriptions of the white students' skin tones as a point of reference. Matt Robertson's cartoon drawings are entertaining: there's Shelby's unique hairstyle, smoke bombs exploding and eyes appearing from the darkness.
Shelby Holmes meets her match has themes of friendship, solving mysteries and overcoming worry and anxiety, and is an enjoyable novel suited to ages 8-10.
Rhyllis Bignell

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
2018 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal shortlist
2018 CILIP Carnegie Medal shortlist
CBCA short lists 2018
Blue Peter Book Awards 2018
Top Ten Best Fiction 2018
2018 Best Fiction for Young Adults
Michael L. Printz Award 2018
Andre Norton Award 2018 nominees
Randolph Caldecott Medal 2018
Alex Awards for the 10 best adult books 2018
John Newbery Medal 2018
2018 Great Graphic Novels for Teens

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster