Author: Andrew Lane
Publication: Macmillan Children's Books
Description: The year is 1868, and Sherlock Holmes is fourteen. His life is that of a perfectly ordinary army officer's son: boarding school, good manners, a classical education - the backbone of the British Empire. But all that is about to change. With his father suddenly posted to India, and his mother mysteriously 'unwell', Sherlock is sent to stay with his eccentric uncle and aunt in their vast house in Hampshire. So begins a summer that leads Sherlock to uncover his first murder, a kidnap, corruption and a brilliantly sinister villain of exquisitely malign intent. "The Death Cloud" is the first in a series of novels in which the iconic detective is reimagined as a brilliant, troubled and engaging teenager - creating unputdownable detective adventures that remain true to the spirit of the original books.
My Thoughts: This book was a fast paced, adventure filled book that introduces us to a young Sherlock Holmes. He is sent to stay with relatives he has never met in the long vacation and stumbles onto murders and a plot to destroy the British Army. He gathers allies including a runaway orphan who is living on the river, his new tutor who has come from the American West, and his tutor's daughter Virginia. Virginia becomes his first crush as she is brave and smart.
Young Sherlock learns a lot from his tutor Amycus Crowe about logic and observation. He also learns that no piece of knowledge is trivial and that he should always be curious.
During the many perilous adventures of this book, Sherlock is kidnapped, beaten, whipped, and drugged but he still manages to solve the crime. I recommend the book to young readers who like a lot of adventure. The book might even lead them to the other Sherlock Holmes mysteries.
Sherlock gazed out to sea. "I can't believe it's all over," he said.
"It's not," Crowe said. "It's part of your life now, and your life keeps on goin'. You can't separate these events out as a story with a beginnin' and and end. You're a different person because of them, and that means the story will never really finish."
Challenges: RYOB Reading Challenge, In the Middle Reading Challenge, YA Reading Challenge