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Sherlock Readalikes for Fifth Graders

by Becky C | Sep 11, 2017
A fifth-grader recently asked me for books like Sherlock Holmes.  Together, we found several!  Most of the books in this post feature a teenage Sherlock, but Wild Boy and Ingrid are young protagonists who demonstrate deductive reasoning that would make Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's creation proud.

 The Initiation
The Initiation by Ridley Pearson.  The rivalry between Sherlock Holmes and James Moriarty gets an update in this contemporary re-imagining which sees the two future archenemies rooming together at the elite Baskerville Academy.  First in a trilogyGrades 5 and up
 The Dark Lady
 The Dark Lady by Alessandro Gatti.  Gatti brings together younger versions of three fictional characters -- Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler, and Maurice Leblanc's "gentleman thief" Arsene Lupin.  First in a series. Grades 4 and up.
 Wild Boy
 The Wild Boy by Rob Lloyd Jones.  Wild Boy is a sideshow circus freak with Sherlockian powers of deduction.  After being unfairly accused of murder, he and his acrobat/pickpocket friend Clarissa begin their own investigation through the gritty, smoky streets of Victorian London.  First in a seriesGrades 5 and up.
 The Case of the Missing Marquess
 The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer.  Enola Holmes sets out to the heart of London to uncover her mother's whereabouts and finds herself mixed up in the kidnapping of the young Marquess of Basilwether.  Enola must escape murderous villains, free the spoiled Marquess, and elude her shrewd older brother -- all while collecting clues to her mother's disappearance!  First in a seriesGrades 4 and up.
 Death Cloud
 Death Cloud by Andy Lane. On break from boarding school, 14 year-old Sherlock Holmes is staying with his aunt and uncle in Hampshire. When local people die from symptoms resembling the plague, Holmes begins to investigate. First in a seriesGrades 6 and up.
 Eye of the Crow
 Eye of the Crow by Shane Peacock.  13-year-old Sherlock Holmes prefers observing street life and reading crime blotters to attending school.  He becomes obsessed with a gruesome murder, an interest that eventually lands him in jail.  There, he's visited by Irene Doyle, a young philanthropist who becomes his crime-solving partner. To prove his innocence, Sherlock makes a daring escape and sets about solving the crime.  First in a series. Grades 5 and up.
 The Fall of the Amazing Zalindas
The Fall of the Amazing Zalindas by Tracy Mack and Michael Citrin.  The Baker Street Irregulars go everywhere, see everything, and overhear everyone. Wiggins, Ozzie, Simon, and the rest -- with the aid of Pilar, a gypsy girl -- help Sherlock Holmes solve the case of the deaths of the Amazing Walendas.  First in a series. Grades 5 and up.
 Raven League
The Raven League by Alex Simmons.  Kicked out of The Baker Street Irregulars, Archie forms the Raven League in order to help the presumably kidnapped Holmes. The League attempts to track the villains while trying to convince Dr. Watson that Holmes is indeed missing.  First in a series. Grades 4 and up.
 Down the Rabbit Hole
 Down the Rabbit Hole by Peter Abrahams .  13 year-old Ingrid is a fleet-footed soccer player with a knack for stage acting-skills.  She's also an avid reader of Sherlock Holmes.  When her cleats are found at the scene of a crime, she uses her intellect to solve the case and clear her name. First in a series. Grades 6 and up.

Love booklists?  So do we!  Click here for some other lists we've created over the years.

Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her favorite books are The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz and The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman..
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