Sherlock Holmes, the great fictional detective aided by his friend Dr. Watson, has been reborn for our today’s young people. You’d have to live under a rock not to have heard of today’s Sherlock–old Harrovian Benedict Cumberbatch
But, the great detective has also been immortalized in print a-new as well. Today I’m looking at an assortment of new Sherlock Holmes stories for various age groups.
Parents today are angst-ridden and troubled. They want the world for their children and they want it to be a safe and carefree world! After day two of their child’s life they lower their expectations and settle for making it to day three. Babylit.com books are here to help do just that! Among the many amazing classics retold for little Hetfield Grace Paisley or her twin brother Shasta Shea Simarillion, is The Hound of the Baskervilles. This introduces the surely Harvard-bound tyke to the sounds of mystery. They come to understand, for example, that Hounds Howl. Brilliant. And, after the 9,642nd reading of it, the child will then be old enough to torture the parents with constant reading of Knuffle Bunny or Goodnight Moon or the dishwasher manual, depending on his or her taste. No, matter for these Baby Lit books are absolutely adorable. Paired with a literary themed baby shower they are bound to be a very, very well-received gift. Plus, the child will like it far more than that satelitedish-sized flower on a headband any day. And, once the new yummy mummy has tried to wrestle that thing onto the kid’s head, she’ll prefer the book as well. Hound of the Baskervilles, by Jennifer Adams.
Kids enjoy mysteries, too. Remember Blues Clues? Encyclopedia Brown? Or even the greatest of them all, the very first Harry Potter book?
Sherlock Academy is a cute, readable, chapter book for elementary schoolers. The children are (what else?) mysteriously chosen to attend the Academy. They must de-code their class schedule. The library rearranges itself. The teachers are all specialists in Sherlockian crime solving methods. There’s classes in codes and disguises, among others. Rollin E. Wilson and his friends start their first year at school by arriving in a hansom cab. And, imagine! The playground is on the roof! How’s that for fun?
Finally the day comes when there is a real live mystery to solve…..Shhhh no spoilers!
Everything about this book is delightful. It would be a good silent read for the child or a nice bedtime read-aloud. Sherlock Academy by F.C. Shaw
Back in the day, the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew solved crimes, drove roadsters and did their homework. Later they were updated for my generation (those born when J.F.K. was in the White House) on television. Today, there are two teen, excuse me, Young Adult, Sherlock series to enjoy. Both are fun.
“You think you’re more clever than me.”
It was true, but I supposed I should show him a bit of deference. “I am female. That comes with a few advantages.”
“Understanding and perception, a unique worldview, and the power that comes with being constantly underestimated….”
“So you believe women are more clever than men, but men cannot see it?”
“….We can be, if we assert ourselves. Unfortunately, many do not. And, yes, sadly, men see very little when it comes to women.”
“So, you are a feminist?”
“No, feminists fight for equality, which is an unsatisfactory goal.”
…”You’re not satisfied with equality?”
“Why should I be? Men aren’t. For all generations, men have fought for equal control and power. Why should women be satisfied to be merely equal?”
…”I don’t understand the need for power, really. There are more important pursuits.”
“Only those who have never been powerless can afford to think like you.”
Sherlock titled his head and studied my face a moment, then broke into a giant smile that once again seemed to age him backward. “You are brilliant.”
I bit back my own smile and said, “I am right.”
Chapter 10, Lock & Mori, E-pub edition.
You can see why I can’t wait to read book two of this great new series! Miss James Moriarty meets Mr Sherlock Holmes in secondary school. A murder–actually a string of murders–brings them closer. Sherlock is brilliant, but has his doofy-sweet moments such as when he admits he likes her calling him “Lock” since he’s never had a nickname. Mori, still hurting deeply from her mother’s death by cancer, realizes the murders are hitting close to home in more ways than one.
This is whip-smart pair’s circle of friends is a bit limited. Mori’s BFF is Sadie–an American expat who introduces Mori to the private London Library (more on that tomorrow). Sherlock’s brother, Mycrof, who has “gone off girls” since kissing his first guy is about the only other person in their lives aside from Mori’s little brothers.
As other reviewers have pointed out, the chemistry between Lock and Mori is amazing! But, parents, be aware that this is a Young Adult novel–there is a physical side to their romance. The story has its gritty side as well in more ways than just the murder story.
Heather W. Petty writes very, very well. She does not dumb-down her story, nor does she fill it with pages of profanity or tacky descriptions of sex. This is a well done book that will appeal to more than just teenagers. I hope her series continues to be as classy as this first book. Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty.
The last series features the modern-day descendants of Holmes and Watson–aka Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson. Thrust together due to, what else? a murder at their top-drawer New England prep school where sex and drugs are part of the privilege and entitlement. The pair must use all the inherited where-with-all and brilliance of their famous forefathers to solve the crime and save themselves. Yes, they are suspects! This is the first in a projected trilogy. If the first is indicative of the author’s ability to craft a story, then sign me up for the entire series! A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro.
Here are a few lovely little Sherlockian gifts you might find fun to give to you Sherlock fans of all ages.
Tomorrow, my occasional series, Quotes from my Commonplace Book, will have more from the world of the new Sherlock.