A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Knightley & Son is the clever, engaging first installment of a planned detective series set in London. There's a large cast of quirky, inventive characters who use logic and reasoning to find answers. The heroes are in peril a few times, there's some fantasy-based scariness, and the climax is an exciting action scene with some fighting described. Kids who enjoy the Harry Potter series will have no trouble here. Firmly rooted in the here and now, the story has no magical elements and less fantasy than Potter, but the supernatural is not ruled out. And fans of Sherlock Holmes will enjoy the emphasis on using logic to solve mysteries.
What's the story?
When Mr. Knightley suddenly wakes up after four years in a coma, he and his 13-year-old son, Darkus, find themselves embroiled in a mystery involving a shadowy, master-criminal organization. All of Mr. Knightley's files and notes from years of investigating the organization before the coma have disappeared. Fortunately, while his father was laid up, Darkus read through all the files and can instantly recall the information in them. Like it or not, if Mr. Knightley's going to bring the criminals to justice, he'll have to rely on Darkus' help. As the investigation brings father and son back together, perhaps the two can rebuild the relationship that was put on hold for so long.
Is it any good?
KNIGHTLEY & SON is a delightful, absorbing mystery full of quirky, funny good guys and mysterious, shadowy bad guys. The writing is clever enough that adults will enjoy reading it aloud as much as kids will enjoy reading it on their own.
The British-schoolboy hero and over-the-top villains will be of interest to fans of Harry Potter. And Darkus' reliance on logical explanations make him more an heir to Sherlock Holmes. The climax is exciting, and the ending wraps up the story nicely while staying wide-open for the further adventures of this oddball detecting duo.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why mysteries are so popular. Why do we enjoy reading them so much?
Are Darkus and his father a good investigative team? Why, or why not? Have you ever teamed up with an adult to solve a problem? Were you successful?
A popular self-help book is an important part of the story. Do you know any adults who read self-help books? Do you think they really help the way they're meant to?
- Author: Rohan Gavin
- Genre: Mystery
- Topics: Adventures, Great Boy Role Models, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
- Publication date: March 4, 2014
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 10 - 12
- Number of pages: 320
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.