Sherlock Holmes gets a spunky, modern update in The Great Shelby Holmes by Elizabeth Eulberg, an adorable new middle grade from the queen of YA rom com.
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.
Eulberg is clearly a Sherlock fan, and has packed her adaptation of this beloved character with plenty of tributes to both the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the many famous screen adaptations we’ve seen over the years, including the wildly popular BBC series. Looking for these little “Easter eggs” became a highlight for me — although, admittedly, I also got swept up in the dog-napping mystery itself, too.
What’s perhaps so lovely about The Great Shelby Holmes is how Eulberg has also used this adaptation as a vehicle for all the best things you’d expect to find in a middle grade book: stories about growing pains, friendships, family, and finding your way in the world.
The typically cantankerous and isolationist behaviors of Sherlock Holmes manifest in Shelby as the awkwardness of a young girl smarter than her peers and unsure where she fits in socially with other kids. In this way, Eulberg has taken a classic character and given him new life in a role that is relatable to young readers.
So too can readers relate to this younger John Watson, struggling with life in a new city and a newly divorced mom, a distant dad, and a desire to make new friends and fit in. We see John struggle with his desire to fit in, and how that clashes with his unexpected friendship with social pariah Shelby.
Wonderfully relatable characters and situations abound in this love letter to Sherlock Holmes. The game is afoot when The Great Shelby Holmes hits store shelves on September 6th.
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