Saturday, October 24, 2020

Tricks, Treats, and Treasured Titles


When you were a kid, did you read some books over and over? I had a whole closet of books like that. Summertime was my favorite time of the year because I could pull out these old friends, head for the closest climbing tree, and read hidden in the branches until I was missed. And that always happened too soon.


 THE SHERLOCK FILES by Tracy Barrett

THE 100-YEAR-OLD SECRET, by Tracy Barrett, Henry Holt & Co., 2008                                      A Junior Library Guild Selection

THE BEAST OF BLACKSLOPE, by Tracy Barrett, Henry Holt & Co., 2009

THE CASE THAT TIME FORGOT, by Tracy Barrett, Henry Holt & Co., 2010

THE MISSING HEIR by Tracy Barrett, Henry Holt & Co., 2011

      Armed with the casebook of their famous ancestor, 12 year old Xena and her younger brother Xander set out to solve cases their great-great-great-grandfather, Sherlock Holmes, did not.   

     Author Tracy Barrett weaves a tantalizing tale about this brother and sister detective team with cliff hangers dropped in all the right places. While they set about discovering London during the family’s year of residence there, the kids are normal enough to be curious and risk nail biting adventures, but smart enough and respectful enough to keep themselves out of the greatest danger to their freedom, parental interference (aka grounded.) Sherlock Holmes would be proud of these smart sleuths.     

     One of the nicest parts of this series is that all four are already available in libraries and book stores. Your enthusiastic young readers won’t  have to wait until the next one is published. They can indulge themselves during this spooky Halloween season and store them away for summer reading. Climbing tree recommended.

      In keeping with the new feature on Book Log, I asked Tracy Barrett how she is keeping her spirits up during this year of Covid.

      Her response:

      "I’m having a hard time with any sustained activity. That pretty much leaves writing out of my daily routine, but I itch to be creative. So what am I doing?

·      I’ve delved deep into my “recipes to try” file and have found some winners (some real losers, too!).

·      My one packet of elastic turned out to have about only a yard of elastic in it. This was before stores had figured out curbside pickup, so I found a pattern for face masks without elastic ( and sewed about 50 to distribute to friends and family. I used up a lot of scraps of fabric that were too nice to throw out but too small to do much of anything with!

·      I spent many happy hours creating a felt “Quiet Book” for my toddler granddaughter.

·      I’ve been knitting, knitting, knitting. I buy yarn online from my local yarn shop and pick it up from a rack outside their door.

·      And I haven’t neglected the writing world, either. I’m revising a manuscript I wrote a few years ago, and critiquing other people’s work. I’ve attended some of SCBWI’s* excellent webinars and learned a lot in areas I haven’t delved into before.

     I hope these activities are keeping my creative side alive until I’m ready to sit down at my computer and plot a new book!"


*Society of children’s Book Writers and Illustrators

                                                                           🌳  📚

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