Children's Review: The Great Shelby Holmes / by Madeleine

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Note: Top Shelf Text was provided with a copy of this text by the publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I am a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes, so when I saw this new middle grade series pop up, I couldn't resist taking a sneak peek. My college roommate and I both love the iconic detective in all his forms and I liked the idea of a female/male team. The Great Shelby Holmes is written from the perspective of John Watson, an eleven year-old boy who has just moved to NYC with his military mom after his parents' recent divorce. 

On the first day in his new city, John meets his neighbor, a verbose and sassy girl named Shelby Holmes. Shelby's not used to making friends, but soon enough John proves himself to be a valuable sidekick and she decides to bring him along on her latest case: the kidnapping of a prize-winning show dog belonging to a schoolmate. The plot itself isn't anything new in this book -- in fact, the dognapping was really the least interesting part of it, as I felt that the level of the plot could have really been raised had the crime been something more serious than a kidnapped pet. However, I really liked the friendship themes that went on through the book. Even though Shelby may be the incredible detective, Watson was a good model for a caring friend, which is poignant for kids at this time of year when a new school year means forming new friendships. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to my students, and I'll definitely follow the series in the future to see how that friendship grows. For those who want to help get this into the hands of young readers, there's still time to purchase a pre-order copy on Amazon before

The Great Shelby Holmes hits shelves on September 6th!

Bottom Line Rating: 4/5


  • Title: The Great Shelby Holmes
  • Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
  • Price:  $9.65 to pre-order on Amazon
  • ISBN: 1681190516
  • Format: E-book
  • Source: Net Galley