Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Baker Street Academy: Sherlock Holmes and the Disappearing Diamond by Sam Hearn (Scholastic Press)

Oh hello new book, what's that you say? You're going to bring one of the world's most widely recognised and fantastic characters to a whole new audience? Colour me interested...!
I must admit, this one sneaked under our radar just like the ace detective himself. Sherlock Holmes has been enjoying a heck of a revival, what with Benedict Cumberbatch's sizzling turn as Mr Holmes.

There have been many, many attempts to make Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's most inspiring and interesting character a bit more child friendly but none that have worked on Charlotte up till now.

But the "Baker Street Academy" series works - if this first book "Sherlock Holmes and the Disappearing Diamond" by Sam Hearn is anything to go by, it's going to be very difficult for me to keep my own copies of classic Sherlock away from Little Miss as she's going to want to start on them next!

The book takes us back to the very beginning. Young John Watson goes to school at the Baker Street academy, along with a rather gangly but extremely clever young lad named Sherlock Holmes, and a super-smart girl called Martha (who as we all know in later life ensures that everything is kept in order in the Holmes household as Mrs Hudson!)

A school trip is planned to the museum - home of the Alpine Star, the world's most famous jewel. But the gem has been stolen - right under the noses of everyone on the school trip and while the police fumble around completely clueless, it's up to Sherlock, John and Martha to dig in and solve the case - even though the thief appears to have been caught red handed! "The game's afoot!" as the great man himself might say.

I was a bit sniffy at first at the thought of bringing Holmes bang up to date and into the present day but just like in the TV series it works beautifully here too.

The book follows the case with loads of brilliant little extras worked into the story, following John Watson's blog and detective notes, school assignments, media reports and super-groovy comic illustrations and cut-outs. It ticks all our boxes. Mine because Charlotte became completely and utterly absorbed in this and started firing off loads of questions about "grown up" Holmes, which I was only too delighted to answer. Charlotte's because it's exactly the sort of book that curious young minds with an eye for a story full of adventure and suspense utterly crave. Sheer brilliance!

Find out more on the Scholastic web site (with some cool freebie activity sheets based on the book to nab too!)

"Baker Street Academy: Sherlock Holmes and the Disappearing Diamond" by Sam Hearn is out on October 6th (why, that's tomorrow!) published by Scholastic (Kindly supplied for review)

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