Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Book Review of I So Don't Do Makeup by Barrie Summy

I So Don't Do Makeup by Barrie Summy is the latest adventure of 13-year old sleuth Sherry (short for Sherlock) Holmes Baldwin. 
I So Don't Do Makeup
Sherry Baldwin is far from your typical 13-year old.   Her mother passed away two years ago and Sherry misses her constantly, but overall, her home situation is good. She has an uncannily brilliant younger brother who is very neat, a maths whiz, and a sucker for silly jokes.  Her new stepmom (a.k.a. "The Ruler") teaches at her elementary school and though she's notoriously strict, she's very maternal - caring, great cook (albeit on the healthy side), and fun to be around.  Her father is the same dependable and sweet.  

Plus, Sherry's got Jake, her first and relatively new boyfriend.  They spend time at the mall, visit each other's houses, and hang out with their mutual friends.  A first "real date" is in the offing.  And when things get strange, Jake is by Sherry's side.

Sherry's developed a reputation for sleuthing after she and her dead mom solved a mystery at the zoo.  Now that her friend's makeup business is threatened by tampered products, Sherry's been asked to investigate.    It looks like her investigation will take her undercover -- as a "Jane."  The Janes, as in "plain Janes" have made a conscious choice not to use makeup based on the research that middle school girls who don't use makeup are more focused in school, more successful academically, enter better colleges and have more professionally rewarding careers...  Sherry suspects that the Janes may have decided to sabotage the popular makeup brand to keep young girls makeup free.  

This is the sort of book that I'm setting aside for my niece (and future daughter).  Sherry's engaging, funny, and generally a sweet and wholesome girl.  She's very much a "tween" - eager to become a glamorous, popular teenager.  The things that fascinate her and that she's looking forward to, we've taken for granted for years.   I love that she's sharp too.  What's not to love about a successful girl detective?

The mystery itself is interesting -- there are a good number of suspects and Sherry narrows them down through careful detective work.  Sherry,  her stepmom (The Ruler) and her bosom buddy Junie work the clues with their knowledge of chemistry.  Overall, I highly recommend I So Don't Do Makeup as a quick escape for you, your daughter or a favorite niece.   I'm sending my copy to the school library in the Philippines where I am sure that it'll be a hit!

About the Author:
Barrie Summy grew up in Canada on a steady diet of books and tobogganing. She tries to read a book a week and always breaks for tea and cookies at three o'clock.

Barrie lives in California with her husband and their four children. She's currently hard at work on her next book. Please visit her at

Check out Barrie Summy's blog, too!  She's giving away autographed copies of her three books, a tote bag, and a T-shirt. The contest ends on June 30, 2010. 

  I So Don't Do Mysteries     I So Don't Do Spooky    I So Don't Do Makeup

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