John Watson is a military kid who's had to move around a lot. On top of that, he's now having to deal with his parents' divorce and all the changes that come long with it. This is a tough time in his life, but fortunate for him, he has the great Shelby Holmes to keep his mind off of his troubles, at least to the degree that's possible--and considering that Shelby almost blew up the apartment building she and John will be living in, I'd say she's quite a diversion.
Shelby's a focused, intelligent, observant, and blunt young lady with a shortage of patience, and she can be a bit much for most people to handle, but thanks to John's background and demeanor, if anybody can break through Shelby's walls and befriend her, John is the kid to do it. Their budding friendship is an adventure from the start, and though it may not be evident to the unusually brilliant Shelby right away, she needs John as much as he needs her--possibly even more so.
The only problem I have with this terrific little book is that it was hard to believe in Shelby as a 9-year-old genius when she comes across as a 12-year-old genius. Even as a teacher of gifted youth, I just couldn't completely buy it, though I tried. Aside from that, however, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and particularly loved the delightful allusions the author must have included just for Sherlock Holmes fanatics like me. I think young readers are going to devour this book, and I hope some of them will even become fans of Sherlock Holmes one day as a result of reading this.
ARC, but views are my own