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The 100-Year-Old Secret (The Sherlock Files) Paperback – March 30, 2010


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 650L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Sherlock Files (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Square Fish; 1 edition (March 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031260212X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312602123
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #227,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4–7—Detective stories derived from the adventures of Sherlock Holmes are well represented in juvenile literature from Donald Sobol's "Encyclopedia Brown" series to Nancy Springer's "Enola Holmes" mysteries. Welcome 12-year-old Xena Holmes and her brother, Xander, Sherlock's great-great-great grandchildren, newly arrived in London from Florida. They are playing a favorite game, guessing people's occupation by appearance, in front of their hotel when a strange man delivers a note written in disappearing ink directing them to the Dancing Men Pub. There, through a set of tests, their famous relative is revealed to them, and they are given his "Unsolved Cases" notebook. Xena, intrigued by it, soon finds a case with modern relevance—a missing portrait by Nigel Batheson, whose other works are being displayed in a nearby gallery. The siblings are off and running through a plot laced with references to the original stories and using similar devices, including a red herring. The main characters are observant, bright, and gifted with powers of deduction. Watson's great-great-great grandson, Andrew, is integral to the plot. Some clues seem to be obvious, but they can lead to a wrong conclusion. A well-paced beginning to a new series.—Kathryn Kosiorek, formerly at Cuyahoga County Public Library, Brooklyn, OH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“A strong start to what will undoubtedly remain an enjoyable series.”—Kirkus Reviews

 

“A fast-paced, entertaining mystery.”—Booklist

 

“A well-paced beginning to a new series.”—School Library Journal


More About the Author

I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and grew up mostly in New York state. I went to college in New England and graduate school in California.

The first book I ever read by myself was called Little Bobo and His Blue Jacket. I still have it. I learned to read when I was three, but I know now that this doesn't mean much. My brother didn't really read until he was seven, and now he reads more and remembers it better than I do.

I have a husband, two grown children, and two crazy Jack Russell terriers.

I teach Italian and other subjects at Vanderbilt University, but I've handed in my resignation and plan to retire in May, 2012, to write full time. I love doing school visits and hope that when my schedule doesn't mean that I'm working while kids are in school, I'll be able to do more of them.

I like to travel, especially to Italy, and especially with my family. I used to skydive (that's how I met my husband, but on the ground, not in the air!) but I haven't jumped out of an airplane in a long time.

Customer Reviews

Recommended for young readers who enjoy a good mystery.
In the Bookcase
I loved the way Barrett uses a fictional character, Sherlock Holmes, to lend credibility to her characters.
Susan Harkins
This was a Book report pick for my daughter in 4th grade.
Tammy K.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By lisa potter on February 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is terrific! Mystery, adventure, history, and lots of fun characters. I can usually solve the mystery fairly early, but this one had me hooked to the end. I look forward to Barrett's next mystery!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kristin Tubb on November 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
My neighbor's daughter includes Tracy Barrett in her list of all-time favorite authors, and THE 100-YEAR-OLD SECRET is a perfect example of why. Everything about this book - the characters, the premise, the setting, the mystery itself - made me remember how much I loved mysteries as a kid. If your child adores a good whodunnit, this is the perfect book for him/her.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By a compulsive reader on January 31, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Purchased this as one of a group of books requested by a 10 year old. She finished it in a few hours and was very dissapointed as she felt it was written for much younger kids and boring. I looked at it myself and have to agree that there is no challenge here; might be good to read with your children from ages 4 to 8 - I agree that anyone older would be bored. The writing is decent, but the book stoops down instead of challenging up - solutions to "mysteries" are easy and obvious. So definitely for the younger set. I would recommend the Enola Holmes mysteries by Nancy Springer as being infinitely superior to this for children 8 and up.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Genetta Adair on June 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This fun and suspenseful whodunit is sure to delight readers!

When American twins Xena and Xander move to London, they learn they're direct descendants of the great detective Sherlock Holmes. After they're given his casebook of unresolved cases - complete with clues - the twins enter a surprising journey of mystery and intrigue that take them all over London and its suburbs.

Sherlock Holmes fans will appreciate how author Tracy Barrett masterfully weaves bits and pieces from the original Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle into her book.

I couldn't put this page-turner down! Complete with a quaint English village, Henry the Eighth's mansion, boarding schools, and numerous art galleries, this book will please thrill-seeking readers.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Fantasy Fan on November 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My daughter who is ten loves mysteries and she really enjoyed this book. She is looking forward to other books in the series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pop Bop TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 7, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Whenever I read Encyclopedia Brown I think of those bathroom books - you know, the ones with the five minute mysteries and logic puzzles. I think the Brown books are great at introducing the idea of deductive reasoning, but because of their episodic nature they really don't work too well as sustained works of fiction. That's why my hat is off to Ms. Barrett for this series.

Think how hard it is to come up with a decent mystery, and reasonable characters, in a short book intended for younger readers. Well, these Sherlock Holmes Files books probably come as close to pulling that off as can be expected. The sibling protagonists are appealing, and the usual sibling rivalry/teasing is kept to a minimum. Secondary characters are stock, but fairly effective. Everyone is very cheerful and helpful, and clues do just sort of poke out here and there, but I'm not sure there's anything you can do about that. The Sherlock Holmes connection adds a nice dash of color, and the references to actual Holmes stories will probably amuse adults who are helping or are reading to the youngsters.

So, if your reader likes hidden secret type mysteries, or if you want to try one out, this is a perfectly fine place to start.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Spencers mommy on June 3, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My Mom bought me this book and I could not put it down, I kept me interested. I am 13 years old.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By In the Bookcase on October 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover
My new favorite series! I've just read book #1 of The Sherlock Files, and I must say it is awesome. Tracy Barrett has made a way for the modern generation to connect to our favorite detective.

The modern-day descendants of Sherlock, a brother and sister sleuthing duo, Xander and Xena Holmes, are Americans going to England with their parents. Once there, they come into possession of Sherlock's casebook of unsolved mysteries. As any curious child would, these siblings embark on the adventure of a lifetime... following in their Great-Great-Great-Grandfather's footsteps and using modern tools and hindsight of history to locate clues and make their own sharp deductions. Even Watson's Great-Great-Great-Grandson is part of the hunt!

The book shows how children truly can be intelligent if they'll just use their brain. I love how the author incorporated "the game" of deciphering who or what a stranger is, just by taking in the clues. She truly capture the mental spirit of Holmes.

Recommended for young readers who enjoy a good mystery. Or for adults of any age who would like a fresh glimpse of Sherlock Holmes.
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