Raising Arcadiais a pacy mystery novel that has, at its centre, the irrepressible (and perhaps sociopathic) heroine Arcadia, a sixteen-year-old searching for her place in the adult world. Stuffed with intrigue and mystery, it will be adored by young adults and by adults who prize curiosity and challenge. Read itand then read it again, to see if you noticed all the clues.
Chesterman’s compelling creation of Arcadia, a preternaturally precocious sleuth with an unsettlingly clear-sighted and plain-spoken manner, is matched by the twists and turns of a devious plot, making for a true page-turner.
In prose so still and measured, Chesterman methodically uncovers Arcadia’s world. Beneath this astonishing portrait of a family is an invisible intellectual machinery at work that will intrigue readers at every turn. I am already impatient for the next book.
What a mind-racing read!Raising ArcadiaisFringemeetsPerception, Hermione meets Sherlock… a wonderful exploration of destinyvs.potential.
Gr 6 Up—Arcadia Greentree, a 16-year-old student at the exclusive Priory School, is surrounded by mysteries, beginning with the disappearance of her sort-of friend Henry. Through her uncanny powers of observation and deduction, honed by puzzles, Arcadia collects a great deal of information about the people around her, even if she isn't quite able to connect all that she notices. But can she apply her unusual insights to herself? How much of her life has been a carefully constructed lie? First-time novelist Chesterman creates an engrossing story that keeps readers chasing the truth. Arcadia is strikingly similar to Sherlock Holmes, with her sharp assessment of people's problems, her love of the violin, and her smug, equally intelligent older brother. At the same time, her endearing brashness is reminiscent of Sophronia Temminnick's in Gail Carriger's "Finishing School" series. A full cast of secondary characters, from well-meaning parents to a mysterious headmaster, help to move Arcadia along on her journey of discovery. A graphically depicted murder might challenge sensitive readers. VERDICT Fans of quirky protagonists, puzzling mysteries, and spy craft will enjoy this. A solid addition to any middle school, high school, or public library.—Holly Boyer, Reston, VA
Aug. 30, 2016
A 16-year-old girl detective stars in a mystery paying tribute to Sherlock Holmes.Arcadia Greentree is a white, clever, middle-class scholarship student at a school for England's upper crust. She's not popular with either classmates or staff; is it because of her cold mannerisms, her conviction that she knows better than her teachers, or her penchant for offering unsolicited advice based on careful observation? Arcadia's content with her studies, the mysteries she unearths, and with the Saturday puzzles her mother gives her (each provided with enough information for readers to solve, followed by a clearly explained solution). Nonetheless, she's concerned about the unknowns within her own school: students behaving strangely, cameras watching the students' every move, a secret door in the headmaster's office. Something unsavory is happening, and Arcadia's parents are in danger. Sherlock Holmes parallels abound. Some, such as Arcadia's violin, will be recognizable to readers who've absorbed Holmes in popular culture. Others, including character and place names taken from lesser-known short stories or Arthur Conan Doyle's life, provide more fan service for adult Sherlock-ians than for young readers not so entrenched in the minutiae of Great Detective trivia. Though overstuffed with obscure allusions and unnecessary infodumps, this series opener is pleasurably packed with clever, solvable, well-explained puzzles; hits the spot for a mystery lover. (Mystery. 12-14)