Shirley & Jamila Save Their Summer

Gillian Goerz. Dial, $20.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-52555-285-7
Goerz’s debut, a Sherlock Holmes–tinged mystery set in Canada, follows 10-year-olds Jamila Waheed and Shirley Bones. Upon crossing paths at a yard sale, they realize they face a similar predicament: a boring summer spent at camps chosen by their mothers (science camp for Jamila, dance camp for Shirley). From there, a plan forms: as long as they’re together at the nearby basketball court, basketball enthusiast Jamila can shoot hoops unsupervised while Shirley does her thing—engaging in strange undertakings and receiving visits from neighborhood kids. When a frantic boy asks Shirley to find a missing gecko, it turns out that Shirley’s a well-known kid detective, one who solves “problems that adults can’t or won’t.” Jamila can’t stand by when someone needs help, and Shirley’s crime-solving acumen proves interesting, so they leave the court, and the game’s afoot. Their odd couple dynamic shines from the start, along with strong characterization and a vividly rendered neighborhood. Goerz’s simple, expressive style lends itself well to a heartwarming whodunit that is, at its core, a story of friendship with a wonderfully inclusive cast. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12. Agent: Anjali Singh, Ayesha Pande Literary. (July)
Reviewed on : 05/20/2020
Release date: 07/14/2020
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-525-55286-4
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