* “The Great Shelby Holmes”


The Great Shelby Holmes,” by Elizabeth Eulberg, is a terrific mystery for upper elementary and middle school students.  It’s a semi-spoof of Sherlock Holmes, but the characters and plot are definitely a stand alone.  Set in Harlem, John Watson and his mom (former army doctor in Afghanistan) are starting a new civilian life.  John’s parents have just divorced, he’s living off-post for the first time, and their arrival at their new apartment is met with a BANG!  Shelby Holmes, a 9-year-old prodigy going into 6th grade, has conducted a “harmless” experiment in her apartment at 221B Baker Street.  And it gets more complicated from there!

John is a budding writer who will be attending an arts-focused charter school.  Until he met Shelby, his journal had been bare for the past few months.  The changes in his life have been painful, he hadn’t made any friends, and school will start in a few weeks.  He is amazed at Shelby’s deductive abilities (so was I!) and ends up entangled in the mystery of a missing dog.  Their adventure reignites John’s interest in writing as he chronicles the amazing ups and downs of this complex mystery set in New York City.

John and Shelby could not be more different.  He is a social kid, eager to make new friends, and Shelby is an odd individual who appears to disdain social norms.  This mystery, with its hilarious events, uncertain relationships, and tender moments, is a life-changing experience for both Shelby and Watson (a moniker used by Shelby since he’ll be the third John in their class).  John must come to grips with his parents’ divorce, caustic remarks by Shelby, and the conflict surrounding this unusual mystery.  Shelby is also forced to confront her asocial behavior and perhaps admit that she actually needs John’s help.

One aspect I especially enjoyed about this book is its racial perspective.  Readers with the “white privilege” perspective may be surprised that John is black.  And just as I often hear white folks describe that “black doctor” or that “black kid,” John does refer to “white kids” but makes no special reference to black folks.  It would be perfect if none of us felt the need to make those distinctions, but it’s refreshing to see the world through nonwhite eyes.  More on that in the next book in this series, “The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match.

I highly recommend this entertaining and thoughtful book.  It will keep you guessing- and laughing- throughout!

* Color Your World catch-up 3

Color Your World: Purple Mountains’ Majesty, Blush, Sea Green, Cerulean, Green Yellow, Vivid Tangerine

Whew!  Caught up through the end of February.  Don’t miss out on this digital delight: Search the photograph for the colors!  You could be a winner!*


*Winners may not be notified.  Most likely not.*

* Color Your World catch-up 2

Color Your World: Jazzberry Jam, Forest Green, Pacific Blue, Yellow, Outrageous Orange, Red Violet

Another cool puzzle to solve!  Can you match the colors to the correct picture?  Big prizes for winners!*



red violet 4

Pacific blue 3

outrageous something

Jenn's socks 2

* Prizes are subject to availability, which is nil.*


* Color Your World catch-up 1

Color Your World: Fern, Blue Green, Goldenrod, Melon, Orchid, Royal Purple

Yeah, I am behind on this blogging challenge but now you get to search out those colors in these photos!  A terrific FREE online puzzle.  Win a prize!  Amaze your friends!

multiple colors 4multiple colors 2multiple colors

* Murder dinner party!

I can cross “host a murder dinner party” off my bucket list!  And what a fantastic event it was!  We were celebrating our daughter-in-law’s birthday; she invited a riotous group of clever-witted, hilarious suspects.  My dearest teaching widower and I never stopped laughing!  As the planner, I played Bonnie Lass, an aspiring writer but not a suspect.  The guests, dressed to kill, were outrageously clever.

We used “A Taste for Wine,” a murder mystery game set in Napa Valley, California.  I highly recommend dinner and murder!


stage is set.JPG