Get a Clue

Abrams/Amulet. (Bookish Boyfriends). Jan. 2021. 336p. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781419739682.
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.

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