"The latest in Schmidt’s popular Bookish Boyfriends series is a generally lighthearted romance with appealing characters and a rather mild mystery that takes a backseat to the boys’ burgeoning relationship."
Gr 7 Up—Huck Baker, a white freshman at Reginald R. Hero High School, stars in the fourth book in the "Bookish Boyfriends" series. Huck has a serious crush on Winston Cavendish, the younger brother of his friend, fellow lacrosse player, and sophomore mentor, Curtis. Huck's English teacher assigns him Arthur Conan Doyle's The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes as extra credit. Like Sherlock, Huck has an active mind and extreme attention to detail. Huck decides to apply the lessons from Sherlock Holmes to investigate who is masquerading as Win online, undermining his job, his friendships, and his chances of getting into Hero High the next year. But will his investigation ruin his chances of romance with Winston? Huck is a reliable and relatable narrator, and this story tackles many issues. Several queer relationships are depicted, though Huck hasn't "settled on a label" for himself. Huck records a teacher calling on male students more often than female students and posts it online by accident, causing an internet scandal for a classmate. There are elements of identity theft and bullying as well. No drinking, swearing, or sex is mentioned or described. Winston and Curtis are half-Egyptian, half-white. VERDICT Fans of this series know that when Ms. Gregoire assigns a book to read, it sets the framework for these modern retellings. Characters from previous volumes are involved so it helps to have read the previous books, although it is not necessary.—Natalie Struecker, Cedar Rapids P.L., IA
In the fourth installment of the Bookish Boyfriends series, new kid Huck has a lot to learn about Hero High, the magical Ms. Gregoire, and himself, in love.
Huck has a couple of problems he needs to solve, and if the Sherlock Holmes collection Ms. Gregoire has assigned him can provide direction, he’s all for it. Huck is in trouble after a video he made of a teacher ignoring female students goes viral. To counteract it, Headmaster Williams stipulates he make a video promoting the school. Huck is also trying to discover who’s behind the e-mails and iLive posts sabotaging his crush, a boy called Winston whose brother is Huck’s school-appointed mentor—especially since they may prevent Win from being accepted at Hero High. Huck may seem hapless, but his caffeine-charged narration is spot-on and frequently hilarious. He asks himself “What Would Sherlock Do?” and finds a way to link the video project with his detective work. Huck tries, like Sherlock, to remain emotionally detached, but Win is too hot. When Huck despairs over whether he’ll identify the culprit and win the boy, Ms. Gregoire encourages him to “write your own ending.” Huck does just that, closing the case and opening his heart. Like most characters, Huck is White; Win is biracial (White/Egyptian).
Romantics will fall for this winning romp with serious undertones. (Romance. 12-15)