Smart by Kim Slater

cover44832-mediumHow did I get the book? Netgalley, thank you Macmillan Children’s Books

Genre: Mystery

Synopsis: I found Jean’s friend dead in the river. His name was Colin Kirk. He was a homeless man, but he still wanted to live.

There’s been a murder, but the police don’t care. It was only a homeless old man after all.

Kieran cares. He’s made a promise, and when you say something out loud, that means you’re going to do it, for real. He’s going to find out what really happened. To Colin. And to his grandma, who just stopped coming round one day. It’s a good job Kieran’s a master of observation, and knows all the detective tricks of the trade.

But being a detective is difficult when you’re Kieran Woods. When you’re amazing at drawing but terrible at fitting in. And when there are dangerous secrets everywhere, not just outside, but under your own roof.

200words (or less) review: Kieran comes from a difficult home life. His mother works long hours while his stepfather and brother sit in front of the TV and even with make-up Kieran’s mother can’t hide the bruises. Most of the time Kieran doesn’t stay at home instead he goes to the park, which is where he finds the body of Jean’s friend.

I thought that the relationship between Jean and Kieran was lovely. By the end Jean was my favourite character from the story.

SMART has a lot going on; apart from Kieran trying to solve the murder there is his home life. The mysterious visitors his stepfather gets when Kieran’s mother isn’t home. Kim Slate strikes a good balance between these and there were a few moments that really got to me. Like Kieran waiting outside the Spar shop for his mother.

SMART is a mystery but it was Kieran’s family life that had the most impact on me.

Recommend it?



Expected publication:
June 5th 2014 by Macmillan Children’s Books

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