When 12-year-old John Watson is sent to Candlewood boarding school, he makes quick friends with a boy named Sherlock Holmes, a universally disliked know-it-all and amateur sleuth. Before long, Sherlock embroils his new friend in a covert investigation of the mysterious disappearances blamed on a vengeful ghost. Dodging the meaty fists of the bully Moriarty, and aided by bumbling patrolman Lestrade, they uncover a deadly secret hidden deep underneath Candlewood. But does the duo have the brains - and the brawn - to crack this dangerous case?
If you ever imagined what Watson and Holmes would be like when they were kids than this is the book you should read. The author did an amazing job to capture Holmes as a twelve-year-old genius while we get to see where Watson’s admiration for this genius came from. At first Watson was a bit baffled by Holmes manner of thinking but he tried to keep up with him the best he could. And he tried to reason with him, to no avail of course.
The story begins when Watson makes his first entry in his journal. He and Sherlock have already been on their first adventure and he plans to write it all down so he will never forget it. We then got to see how Watson and Holmes first met at boarding school and how Watson got dragged into his first adventure by Holmes. There wasn’t a dull moment in this book thanks to Holmes quirkiness and Watson’s bafflement by all what happened to them. The book definitely made me laugh at times.
There were only some small things that bothered me in this book. The biggest problem I had with was near the ending. I don’t know exactly both Watson and Holmes killed at least three grown up men when trying to fend them of. Which twelve-year-old would do that? But most of all which twelve-year-old wouldn’t feel bad doing it afterwards? That was just something I couldn’t wrap my mind around. The other problem concerns Watson. He leaves his house at a bad moment, his mother is very ill and he’s sad to leave. But as soon as he enters Candlewood School it seems like he forgets her completely till the end of the book. Other than that I have nothing to complain about.
There was enough action it, definitely towards the ending, which would entertain most middle grade boys and even girls. In addition to the action the book was packed with humor, sarcasm, mystery, adventure but most important it contained friendship. A lovely friendship that will last for many years. Another bonus for this book were the drawings in it, they gave the book a nice touch. Overall I really enjoyed this book and it’s definitely a great read for middle graders. I’m definitely going to pick up the next book in this series when available.
*Note I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
Title: The Astounding Adventure of the Ancient Dragon
Author: Jose Prendes
Series: Elementary, My Dear Watson
Geren: Mystery, MG
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication date: April 3rd 2014