THE CASE FOR JAMIE (Charlotte Holmes Novel) by Brittany Cavallaro

October 27, 2018

The Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro

If you are a big fan of Sherlock Holmes, and have already found this contemporary spin-off that features Charlotte Holmes, you will be delighted to delve into book number 3.  In case you are happily surprised to hear about this series, check out our reviews of A Study in Charlotte and The Last of August.That will get you up to speed and ready for the latest adventures. So, Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are coping with the death of their friend August Moriarty.  It’s been over a year, and they are on separate paths, and haven’t even spoken.  Jamie has returned to their posh high school, and is basically going through the motions, even with his sweet new girlfriend.  Frankly, he misses Charlotte as much as he is angry with her. Charlotte, on the other hand, is on the run, mostly from the Moriarty family who blame her for August’s death.  But strange things are beginning to happen in Jamie’s life–deleted projects and homework, missed messages, and many separate mini-mysteries that come together into one giant thriller. No spoilers here, so we can only recommend that you pick up a copy and start reading so you’ll be ready when the adventures continue, in Book 4!

 

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A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE and other New Sherlock Spin-Offs for Tweens and Teens

October 1, 2016

femaleSherlock Holmes remains a popular literary character–and one who has made a place in the world of children’s literature as well.  Not only retellings, but also spin-offs that appeal to a range of ages and readers.  This last year has seen the publication of  several books-in-a-series that create a world for  tween and teen (and older!) Sherlock Holmes aficionados to enjoy.  Here’s a sampling:

 

a-studyA Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavalliaro

In this Sherlockian world, descendants of John Watson and Sherlock Holmes have kept up their relationship over decades. (There’s a hint that the Moriarty family is also involved. . .stay tuned.) The 21st century version depicts the boarding school world of teens Charlotte Holmes and John Watson who meet and become friends solving a murder mystery of a fellow student. Definitely a YA novel recommended for high school at least as this witty and sometimes dark retelling features a Charlotte Holmes with the same tendencies as her famous great-great-great-etc. Grandfather, including indulging in drugs (though they are shown to be dangerous and unhealthy).  It’s a very clever mystery, well-written to show the depth of the characters and their deepening relationship. Be looking for the second in the series early in 2017!

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shelbyThe Great Shelby Holmes by Elizabeth Eulberg

Here is another version of the 21st century Holmes and Watson, and once again it is a female Sherlock character.  Shelby Holmes is already known in the neighborhood as a master sleuth, though she is a small nine-year-old and her neighborhood is Harlem in New York City.  When she meets John Watson, he has just arrived with his single Mom, and having a hard time adjusting to his parents’ recent divorce.  He is soon drawn into Shelby’s sleuthing, though she is two years younger than he is, and a girl to boot.  He and Shelby tackle a dog-knapping mystery with cleverness, determination, and quite a bit if courage.  The story is well told and the characters are complex and engaging.  I’m looking forward to this duo’s future adventures!

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night-breakNight Break:  The Young Sherlock Holmes #8

For all of us who love imagining how Sherlock Holmes might have evolved to become the  sleuth extraordinaire of the literary world, the latest Young Sherlock is the perfect read.  As you may recall from our earlier post, we highly recommend for YA readers The Young Sherlock Holmes series . In this important retelling, Sherlock’s mother has died, and even brother Mycroft is at a loss how to proceed.  But when a man vanishes from the home that the brothers are visiting, they must solve the case–and this draws them into yet another mystery, one set in Egypt.  Adventure and suspense abound.  We continue to recommend this series!

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Latest in YA Popular Series: KING’S CAGE, A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT, and THE LAST OF AUGUST

April 7, 2017

Binging on a delicious series is what some readers love to do (and count us in at Lit for Kids).  When we finish “the latest” in a series we love, you’ll find us scanning the blogs and Author’s Pages to find out when the next installment will be out.  So far this year, lots of popular series have continued their on-going stories, and we have our reviews ready for you.  So pull up a chair and get set for a return to your favorite characters and their adventures.

King’s Cage  (Red Queen Series) by Victoria Aveyard

The saga of Mare Barrow continues in the thrilling third installment. When we last left our heroine, she was stripped of her Lightening Girl powers, and the captive of her enemy King Maven Calor.  In Mare’s world, the Kingdom is ruled by the Silver bloods, with the Reds, like Mare, the serfs and workers for their Silver  Lords.  But despite Mare’s red blood, she has the special powers thought to be unique to the Silvers:  a new breed  emerging in the land.  War has broken out among the Bloods, and intrigue simmers everywhere–at court, in the mountains, and throughout the land.  The revolution and romance continue in The King’s Cage in the midst of almost non-stop action.  I’ll be interested to hear from others about their views on the King’s cage itself. . .is it the prison Mare is in?  The one of King Maven’s making for himself?  Or. . .?

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A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes) by Sabaa Tahir

There’s something about impenetrable prisons and YA dystopia novels this spring. . .In this sequel, heroes Tobias and Laia make an arduous–and adventurous–journey across the desert reach the prison of Kauf, where Laia’s brother has been imprisoned for having secret knowledge of Martial weapons. The Blood Shrike, aka the duo’s childhood friend Helen has orders from the Emperor to hunt them down and kill them.  The characters, villains as well as heroes, in this saga are fascinating.  I am intrigued by the Commandant, who is also Elias’ mother, who is scheming to seize power and is willing even to poison her own son to achieve her ends.  Many of the most compelling conflicts deal with emotions, though the fierce battle scenes and twists and turns of plot are also tension-filled.  The second installment is as great as the first!  It will be hard to wait for the third book in the series.

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The Last of August (Charlotte Holmes Novel) by Brittany Cavallaro

We met Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes in the first of this trilogy, A Study in CharlotteIn this contemporary setting, the two meet at a private school. in the United States, and become best friends, much as pairs from both families have for generations. (Yes, in this novel’s world, Sherlock and Watson were real human beings, not fictional.) There’s even a Moriarty family that figures in, and as with all families, some are good, and some are, well, villains set out to murder the good guys.  Hard to tell which is which at times.  What about August Moriarty?  Should Jamie and Charlotte  trust him or shun him as they undertake a dangerous race through the gritty underground scene in Berlin and glittering art houses in Prague.  In this second installment, Holmes and Watson discover that this complicated case might change everything they know about their families, themselves, and each other. Definitely for high school age at least with some more adult situations.

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Young Adults

June 8, 2007

From 13 to 18 years old; grades 8-12

We find young adult literature to be some of the best-written books by the most accomplished authors.  If this is a new area for you, and the teenager in your life, you are all in for a treat!  A wealth of books are written with the young adult reader in mind.  These texts confront issues about school life, relationships with parents, brothers and sisters, and friends.  Self-esteem, coming of age, and fitting in are themes that can prove to be powerful learning tools for what readers are experiencing.  We also recommend many books that are adult-themed that grab the interest and attention of the young adults we know and work with.  Quirky books, short story collections, and on-line essays are all possibilities to expand the reading horizons of teens on the verge of adulthood.  It’s a terrific time to share books as a family, with mother-daughter reads, for example, or investigations of places you might ultimately visit together.

Book Lists

Latest in YA Popular Series: KING’S CAGE, TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT, and THE LAST OF AUGUST

RESISTANCE! Part II:  Learning from Our Moral Ancestors, Recommended for Teens and Tweens

A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE and Other Sherlock Holmes Spin-Offs for Tweens and Teens

New Series for Tweens and Teens

Two More Recommended Graphic Novels for Tweens

Tweens and Teens Series Updates

New Books Make Great Holiday Gifts:  YA Series Edition

New this Spring:  Fantasy YA Heroines

YA Books for Sports-Loving Young Men

Graphic Novels for Teens and Young Adults

And the Series Continues. . .Terrific New YA Fiction

Young Adult Books for Feminist Readers

Spanish/English Novels for Tweens and Teens

Historical Fiction

Classics for Young Adults

Tellings and Retellings

Diaries, Journals, and Notebooks:  Novels for Young Adults

Contemporary Multicultural Novels & Memoirs for Young Adults

Beyond Nancy Drew

Middle East YA Recommendations

Middle East Books for Tweens and Teens

Picture Books:  Understanding the Middle East

More booklists for this age group are coming soon- please bear with us as we are adding content to the website daily!

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CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE

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TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN by John Green

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MAGNUS CHASE AND THE GODS OF ASGARD, BOOK 2: THOR’S HAMMER by Rick Riordan

HEARTLESS by Marissa Meyer:  Recommended!

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ENCHANTED: THE WOODCUTTER SISTERS, A Recommendation

MONSTER by Walter Dean Myers: A Review and Recommendation

Ms. Marvel: A Superhero for Today’s Teens–and Adults

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A WRINKLE IN TIME: THE GRAPHIC NOVEL

THE CROSS OVER by Kwami Alexander: Poetry in Motion

BROWN GIRL DREAMING

A YA Great Gatsby Retelling:  GREAT

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RED RISING:  Making YA Dystopia Fresh

Rapunzel Revisited:  CRESS:  A Review

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Two YA Series:  Boys and Girls

Little Red Riding Hood Revisited:  SCARLET:  A Review

Two New YA Favorite Authors

Divergent:  A Converssation/Review

Since Charles Darwin

Great NEW Series (Tween and Teen)

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Book Recommendation:  REBEL GIRLS YOUTH ACTIVISM AND SOCIAL CHANGE

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Early Adolescents

June 8, 2007

From 10 to 14 years old; grades 5-9

The middle school years are a great age for readers.  Many young teens are at a point where they are thinking more critically, but still have a bright-eyed outlook on the world.  People who work with this age group are often inspired  by their creativity and inquisitiveness. These kids often appreciate chapter books that speak to the awkwardness of early adolescence—seeing themselves and their friends in these books and experiencing their trials and successes from a safe distance can be gratifying.   But it is also important to recommend reads that have intriguing plots, interesting writing styles, and don’t necessarily use the themes of growing pains and social awkwardness.  No need to give up the family read alouds, either.  We have recommendations by author, theme, general interest, and of course, those wonderful books to continue to enjoy as read-alouds with family members or friends.

Book Lists

New Magazines for Girls

RESISTANCE! Part II:  Learning from Our Moral Ancestors, Recommended for Teens and Tweens

Resistance! Part I:  Learning From Our Moral Ancestors:  Recommended Picture Books for Young Readers

A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE and Other Sherlock Holmes Spin-Offs for Tweens and Teens

FAIRY TALE REFORM SCHOOL

BLISS BAKERY TRILOGY

Two More Recommended Graphic Novels for Tweens

New Series for Tweens and Teens

Tweens and Teens Series Updates

Classic Books for Early Adolescents

Read-alouds for Early Adolescents

Books for Middle-School Feminist Readers

Spanish-English Novels for Tween and Teens

Young Adult Books for Feminist Readers

Picture Books:  Understanding the Middle East

Exploring the World Through Historical Fiction

Adventure Series, Starring Girls

Tellings and Retellings

Diaries, Journals, and Notebooks

Beyond Nancy Drew

Living a Writing Life

Mystery Series

Books with Siblings

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THE CARDBOARD KINGDOM by Chad Sell

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PASHMINA:  New Graphic Novel

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FIRSTBORN by Tor Seidler:  Must reading for Yellowstone Visitors

Two New Graphic Novels for Tweens:  REAL FRIENDS by Shannon Hale and INVISIBLE EMMIE by Terri Libenson

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THE INQUISITOR’S TALE: OR, THE THREE MAGICAL CHILDREN AND THEIR HOLY DOG by Adam Gidwitz, illustrated by Hatem Aly

SNOW WHITE:  A GRAPHIC NOVEL by Matt Phelan

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MARK OF THE THIEF:A Recommendation

ENCHANTED: THE WOODCUTTER SISTERS, A Recommendation

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May 18th:  Remembering Mt. St. Helens Eruption

BROWN GIRL DREAMING

THE FAMILY ROMANOV: Winner of the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction

EL DEAFO by Cece Bell:  An Enthusiastic Review

RAIN, REIGN by Ann Martin:  A Review

Tween and Teens Series Updates

YA Series Updates

Rain, Reign by Ann Martin:  A Review

More Young People Who Make a Difference:  Malala and Iqbal

New Series:  THE ATLANTIS SERIES by T.A.Barron

Hero on a Bicycle by Shirley Hughes:  A Review

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Girl Detectives Update:  Meet Ruby Redfort

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When Reading Isn’t Fun Continued:  Movies/Book Pairings

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What 8th Graders are Reading.  And Thinking.

Magic for the 21st Century-  Review of Bran Hambric:  The Farfield Curse

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Tweens

May 29, 2007

From 8 to 11 years old; grades 3-6

Tweens-Banner

Not yet teenagers, but no longer little kids, “tweens” are struggling to see where they fit in. Books can be a wonderful way to reach preteens in our lives, helping them explore their own interests and passions, and also coming to understand the complicated world they live in. Kids this age still appreciate the power of a story read aloud to them—especially the daily ritual of a chapter or two of a family read aloud. They also enjoy books that reflect their own unique interests and those of their friends, using these stories as conversation starters as well as escapes into their own world. There is an explosion of books written that capture the interests of tweens; keep us posted as you discover new ones!

Book Lists

New Magazines for Girls

RETHINKING THANKSGIVING THROUGH PICTURE BOOKS

November 13th is World Kindness Day:  Picture Books to Read and Share

Two More Recommended Graphic Novels for Tweens

FAIRY TALE REFORM SCHOOL

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Two New Graphic Novels for Tweens:  REAL FRIENDS by Shannon Hale and INVISIBLE EMMIE by Terri Libenson

Celebrating Literacy:  Three New Picture Books

More Graphic Novels for Tweens

New Series for Tweens and Teens

Tweens and Teens Series Updates

Comics and Graphic Novels for Tweens

Classic Books

Spanish/English Novels for Tweens and Teens

Short Story Collections for Tweens

Family and Class Read Alouds

Harry Potter and Beyond:  Great Series

Middle East Books for Teens and Tweens

Mystery Series

Great NEW Series

Great Role Models for Boys

Tellings and Retellings

Living a Writing LIfe:  Books for Tween and Early Teens

Picture Books for Writers

Beyond Nancy Drew

Adventure Series, Starring Girls

Math Adventures

Musicians When They Were Children

Books with Siblings

Celebrating a Love of Words

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THE UNWANTEDS by Lisa McMann

THE INQUISITOR’S TALE: OR, THE THREE MAGICAL CHILDREN AND THEIR HOLY DOG by Adam Gidwitz, illustrated by Hatem Aly

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MPYRIUM by Henry H. Neff: New Series Recommendation for Tween and Teens

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Appreciate a Dragon Day, January 16th

Pirate Update

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October 29th is National Hermit Day

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HE FAMILY ROMANOV:  Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Non-Fiction

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Kids Recommend. . .

Andrew Recommends The Bone Series

Jessica Recommends Who Am I Without Him?

Alysa Recommends The Twilight Saga

Dmitriy Recommends The Tintin Series

Jessica Recommends Hugging the Rock

Alysa Recommends Each Little Bird that Sings
Michelle Recommends Star in the Storm