Sherrill Joseph’s Middle-Grade Mysteries
Nine-year-old me would have LOVED them
I wish Sherrill Joseph’s award-winning books had been available when I was a child, devouring Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew mysteries. I would have begged the librarian to let me take out more than five books, and I’d have waited breathlessly until each new book in the series was available.
I’d also have dreamt that my parents were international scientists who traveled the world and always brought their children. Or since that dream was a little too far-fetched, I could have been the 6th grade best friend of one of those kids. The international scientists would have convinced my parents that I’d learn far more from Bruce, the private tutor (a walking computer!) than I’d ever learned in regular school.
Sherrill Joseph was probably one of those sweetheart teachers who’d have made me feel like a million bucks. In her middle grade mysteries, she presents a group of four kids, each distinct, with unique skills, who work together to solve mysteries. And after just about every meal, they get cookies for dessert!
That’s the world I always wanted to live in.
Although my children got older and I don’t keep up with books for fourth and fifth graders, I just read two of Sherrill’s books because she’s a fellow Blackbird Writer, and I’m trying to support the flock.
The first book, Nutmeg Street, revolves around Egyptology and ancient treasures. It takes place in southern California. Saffron Street, the book I just finished that will launch soon, takes place in lush Hawaii. It teaches kids about the attack on Pearl Harbor that led to the United States joining the Allies during World War II. It also led to the disgraceful internment of Japanese American citizens.
We also get Hawaiian surfers, missing pearls, and a kidnapped girl in Saffron Street: Island Danger. It’s December, but warm and green in Hawaii, and the cookies keep coming. Kudos, Sherrill Joseph!