Shelby Holmes was introduced to readers in “The Great Shelby Holmes,” the first book in the series by Elizabeth Eulberg. In the second book, “The Great Shelby Holmes Meets her Match,” narrator John Watson brings to life another mystery that he and Shelby solve, and in the process gives the reader another view at the complicated genius of Shelby Holmes.
She’s a pint-sized fourth grader who has skipped two grades. Watson is a newcomer to New York City, and in the first book, Shelby shows him around the neighborhood. In this book, Holmes and Watson start school.
From the first day, Holmes is suspicious of the new science teacher, Mr. Crosby. As it turns out, he has a case for them to solve. But along the way, Watson must learn how to keep his friendship with Holmes while still making other friends. Watson doesn’t appear to care about friends, but it becomes very apparent over the course of the story that she considers Watson’s friendship very important.
Eulberg manages to do some nice character development in this story, especially regarding Shelby Watson’s character. She’s really a fascinating character to study because of the contradictions that her words and actions demonstrate. She’s determined to be the best at everything, and she claims she doesn’t care about anything except solving the next case, yet she feels very responsible for Watson. When they are on a case and he neglects to eat, almost putting him into a diabetic coma, Watson saves the day. She actually saves Watson’s life (albeit after putting it in danger).
Students will enjoy this fun, fairly light read. It’s perfect for those in fourth grade as well as older readers. It would be best, though, to start with the first book in the series as that mystery ends up contributing to the solving of the mystery in this book.
Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover book provided by Bloomsbury Children’s Books, the publisher, for review purposes.