Young Sherlock Holmes #1: Death Cloud
by Andrew Lane
A wonderful introduction to the character, Death
Cloud goes back well before that fateful meeting between Holmes and Watson
to see how Sherlock ticks. Sent to his mother’s relatives during the school
holidays, Sherlock acquires a tutor who begins to train him not only to see,
but also observe. There are lots of lovely touches to the original stories for
those who know as well! A cracking mystery, engaging original characters and
brisk prose add up to a worthy YA read for even the most disaffected youth.
Ages 12 + --Reviewed by Steven of Books Inc. Palo Alto
This is the best middle reader historical fiction that I’ve read in
years. As a girl growing up at the end of the 19th century, Callie
doesn’t feel like she has any control over the path her life will take; the
only girl in a house full of brothers, she is all too aware that her future is
full of cooking, cleaning, sewing, and raising children. But what Callie
loves more than anything is observing nature and conducting scientific
experiments. Fortunately, Callie finds an ideal companion and mentor who
shares and nurtures her interest in science- her grandfather.
Each chapter begins with a quote from Darwin’s Origin of Species, mirroring Callie’s own “evolution” and the
awakening of her ambition. The characters are smart and endearing, and I
love Callie’s touching relationship with her grandfather. This Newbery
Honor book is a must-read if you missed it the first time around.
Wonder by R. J. Palacio (ages 10& up)
This is one of those books that you know is going to
be special from the very first page.
Starting middle school is hard, even harder for Auggie who’s been home
schooled due to a rare genetic disorder that has given him a misshapen head and
face that earned him nicknames like Freddy Krueger, he’s grown used to people
adverting their eyes when they see him (I was terrified for him). But Auggie feels normal inside, he is
obsessed with Star Wars, loves his Dog, and is surrounded by an amazing family
that I secretly want to be a part of. What follows is an extraordinary debut
novel told from not only Auggie’s perspective but his sister & other people
around him whose lives have changed from his attendance at school. Both touching and funny this is a story
about courage and friendship that will melt your heart.
--Shannon, Senior Children's Book Buyer for Books Inc.