Monday, April 13, 2009

Joe Sherlock - a kid detective perfect for reluctant readers in 3rd or 4th grade

Do our kids need more action with zip-zap-zoom in what they read than we did? Or have young kids always needed books that delivered a quick punch? It's hard to know how video games and quick-action TV have changed our learning and reading styles. In any case, I think kids ages 7 to 9 will enjoy the Joe Sherlock series by Dave Keane. It packs a lot of laughs along with satisfying quick mysteries.
Joe Sherlock: Kid Detective, Case #000003 The Missing Monkey-Eye Diamond
by Dave Keane
NY: HarperCollins, 2006. 116 pages.
audiobook published by HarperChildrens Audio
ages 7 - 9
Joe Sherlock is racing against time — somehow, his neighbor Herbert Castro has lost his diamond ring, and he's getting married in just a few hours. Now it's up to Joe to figure out what happened. Joe's just a kid with a box of Barf Blockers, a clip-on tie, and amateur detective skills. He builds a time line to figure out exactly where Herbert has been all day. In the process, Joe has his brain squeezed in the pressure cooker of the wedding day, and his stomach turned upside down in the crazy limousine ride. But can he stop his smelly "burfs" from chasing everyone away? In case you don't know, here's Joe's description of a burf:
"Basically, a burf happens when you burp so big and throaty that some of the hot, sour stuff from your stomach comes flying up your windpipe and sprays into the back of your throat. Usually it's just about a teaspoon (according to Lance's estimate), but it can ruin your whole day. Especially when it tastes exactly like something you ate the day before."
Now, this isn't my favorite book of the year, but I think it's a good choice for the right kid. I think 3rd who enjoy goofy mysteries with action and a quick wrap-up will enjoy it. I can see it working for reluctant readers because of its humor, action and short chapters. Give it a try and let me know what you think of it!

Find this series at the Berkeley Public Library (look in their paperback section) and the Oakland Public Library, or at Amazon.

If you like audiobooks, you might want to give this a try. The first 3 books in the series are in one audiobook. Find it at Amazon for $20.

1 comment:

  1. I love the Joe Sherlock books. They're so much fun. They were my guility pleasure for awhile, knew enough to sell them after reading the first one, but didn't want to stop. Are you State side again?