Middle Grade

A Study in Scarlet (The Sherlock Holmes Children’s Collection) – Book Review

by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
10-Book Box Set published on July 25, 2019 by Sweet Cherry Publishing

A terrific way to introduce young children to one of the most famous detectives ever – Sherlock Holmes.

Description of A Study in Scarlet: (from Netgalley)

Body thought to be that of E.J. Drebber discovered last night in empty London house. No obvious cause of death. Address given as Cleveland Ohio. Any information would be appreciated. After a mysterious murder leaves the police baffled, the world’s best amateur detective is asked to investigate. Along with his fellow lodger, Dr Watson, Sherlock Holmes sets about uncovering a quest for revenge that runs far deeper than anybody suspected. A simplification of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, perfect for young fans of mystery books. A great introduction to classics for children aged 7+.

Description of The Sherlock Holmes Children’s Collection: (from Amazon)

A simplification of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, perfect for young fans of mystery books. A great introduction to classics for children aged 7+.

This ten book set includes A Study In Scarlet, The Sign of the Four, The Blue Carbuncle, The Speckled Band, The Naval Treaty, The Sussex Vampire, The Red Headed League and The Three Students.

Thoughts:

To be perfectly honest I have read several or many Sherlock Holmes books, but I don’t generally remember all the titles. There are some titles that get stuck in my memory perhaps due to a show or movie where they are referenced, or if it was required reading in high school, such as The Hound of the Baskervilles was. So, when I selected A Study in Scarlet from Netgalley it wasn’t until I started reading the first chapter that I realized I have read this before – more than once. That’s when I truly looked at what I had selected. I initially had thought it was a new detective story aimed for kids with Sherlock Holmes featured. However, what I found was that it is the actual story, adapted for a younger audience and with lots of illustrations that provided additional information along with humor.

To help bring Sherlock Holmes to life, this book is filled with illustrations. In fact, almost every page has something on it – some are small pictures of a pocket watch or revolver. Some illustrations show what the character is doing. For example, there is an illustration of Sherlock lounging very melodramatically on a sofa in his bathrobe after Watson describes how Holmes spends his time some days.

In addition, sometimes there are notes provided to help with difficult words or ideas, such as when Holmes reads a telegraph message that had been sent. There is an illustration of the telegraph and what it includes, but it also goes a little further and provides in a type of call-out box what telegraphy is, since most kids probably aren’t yet familiar with it.

A Study in Scarlet is one of 10 books in the Sherlock Holmes Children’s Collection box set. In addition, the box set also includes a read-along audio book for each story. On Sweet Cherry Publishing’s Instagram account (@sweetcherrypublishing) they have a post with an audio example from The Reigate Squires book. I had a chance to listen to a little of it on Instagram and enjoyed the voice actor’s version very much.

Some of the stories included in the box set are The Sign of the Four, The Red-Headed League, The Blue Carbuncle, The Speckled Band, The Sussex Vampire and others.

I recommend this to all young budding sleuths and detectives as a way to learn about an important literary character along with some historical information.

Rating: 5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and Sweet Cherry Publishing for the reader’s copy and opportunity to provide an honest review.

6 thoughts on “A Study in Scarlet (The Sherlock Holmes Children’s Collection) – Book Review”

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