A fun, socially conscious mystery that continues to take the series in new directions.

KAT WOLFE ON THIN ICE

From the Wolfe and Lamb Mysteries series , Vol. 3

A vacation turns into another mystery for young animal lovers–turned–amateur sleuths.

Having solved previous mysteries near her home in Dorset, England, 12-year-old Kat Wolfe is ready for a vacation across the pond. So is her overworked veterinarian mother. Together they are set to accompany Kat’s best friend, 13-year-old Harper Lamb, and her paleontologist father on a trip to New York’s Adirondack Mountains. When unexpected events, including a nor’easter, converge in this third stand-alone installment of the series, Kat and Harper find themselves parentless and snowed in for several days. At first the pair is intrigued by a recent news event—a botched heist of a diamond necklace—but when they learn that the key witness, Riley, is not only a girl Kat met at a rest stop en route to the Adirondacks, but also has disappeared in the area, Kat and Harper set out to find her. Once again, they combine savvy computer talent, keen observation, and cleverness with animals in a lighthearted adventure with just the right amount of danger. This time the girls must also test their survival skills amid a pack of huskies, assorted wild animals, and blizzard conditions. Most notably, their sleuthing spotlights biases around the types of individuals society often overlooks. Whiteness is the default; Harper’s late mother was Cuban.

A fun, socially conscious mystery that continues to take the series in new directions. (Mystery. 9-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-374-30964-0

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2020

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Entrancing and uplifting.

STAY

A small dog, the elderly woman who owns him, and a homeless girl come together to create a tale of serendipity.

Piper, almost 12, her parents, and her younger brother are at the bottom of a long slide toward homelessness. Finally in a family shelter, Piper finds that her newfound safety gives her the opportunity to reach out to someone who needs help even more. Jewel, mentally ill, lives in the park with her dog, Baby. Unwilling to leave her pet, and forbidden to enter the shelter with him, she struggles with the winter weather. Ree, also homeless and with a large dog, helps when she can, but after Jewel gets sick and is hospitalized, Baby’s taken to the animal shelter, and Ree can’t manage the complex issues alone. It’s Piper, using her best investigative skills, who figures out Jewel’s backstory. Still, she needs all the help of the shelter Firefly Girls troop that she joins to achieve her accomplishment: to raise enough money to provide Jewel and Baby with a secure, hopeful future and, maybe, with their kindness, to inspire a happier story for Ree. Told in the authentic alternating voices of loving child and loyal dog, this tale could easily slump into a syrupy melodrama, but Pyron lets her well-drawn characters earn their believable happy ending, step by challenging step, by reaching out and working together. Piper, her family, and Jewel present white; Pyron uses hair and naming convention, respectively, to cue Ree as black and Piper’s friend Gabriela as Latinx.

Entrancing and uplifting. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-283922-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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A smart, fresh take on an old favorite makes for a terrific series kickoff

THE GREAT SHELBY HOLMES

From the Shelby Holmes series , Vol. 1

A modern Sherlock Holmes retelling brings an 11-year-old black John Watson into the sphere of know-it-all 9-year-old white detective Shelby Holmes.

John's an Army brat who's lived in four states already. Now, with his parents' divorce still fresh, the boy who's lived only on military bases must explore the wilds of Harlem. His new life in 221A Baker St. begins inauspiciously, as before he's even finished moving in, his frizzy-haired neighbor blows something up: "BOOM!" But John's great at making friends, and Shelby certainly seems like an interesting kid to know. Oddly loquacious, brusque, and extremely observant, Shelby's locally famous for solving mysteries. John’s swept up in her detecting when a wealthy, brown-skinned classmate enlists their help in the mysterious disappearance of her beloved show dog, Daisy. Whatever could have happened to the prizewinning Cavalier King Charles spaniel? Has she been swiped by a jealous competitor? Has Daisy’s trainer—mysteriously come into enough money to take a secret weekend in Cozumel—been placing bets against his own dog? Brisk pacing, likable characters, a few silly Holmes jokes ("I'm Petunia Cumberbatch," says Shelby while undercover), and a diverse neighborhood, carefully and realistically described by John, are ingredients for success.

A smart, fresh take on an old favorite makes for a terrific series kickoff . (Mystery. 9-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-68119-051-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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