Smart : A mysterious crime, a different detective

3.82 (1,563 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
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"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.
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Product details

  • 11+
  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 130 x 197 x 21mm | 320g
  • Macmillan Children's Books
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Unabridged
  • Unabridged edition
  • 1447254090
  • 9781447254096
  • 801,379

Review quote

It's painful to see how Kieran is treated, but heart-warming when people realise what he is capable of and how he doesn't hold the prejudices against other people as most of us might do. Smart leaves you with the hope that this realisation will extend beyond Kieran and will soon become a part of everyday life * * Altogether this is an amazing, enthralling and enticing debut. * Amadillo Magazine * This is a book that will make you more aware of others' needs, and to pay attention to life because you never know when you'll have information or skills that can help someone else. * * The style of writing is pure genius. -- Guardain Peer Review * * For me this book is all about the things that go unsaid. * * Kieran is very brave, in fact he is the bravest of everyone in the whole story, even though he is the one with special needs and does not fully understand the way people work. He is also smart -he knows how to make use of his talents, he knows when something is wrong and he tells the right people. Good always overcomes evil. * * Kim was a guest on the Wondrous Reads blog on Friday, talking about the influence of Art on Smart. It was a very interesting article, touching on Lowry and how his art reflected the changes in his life and well worth a read! * * Smart is a fearless debut from Kim Slater that is written with great care and beauty. There are also a lot of tough topics covered with great sensitivity. Smart is funny, chilling, moving, emotional and also hard to read at times because of Kieran's suffering. * * I think fans of thoughtful contemporaries will be really impressed by this debut. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more from Kim Slater! * * I enjoyed reading this book and have already started to bug people I know to read it. * * Smart is quite dark in places, as a result of some of the themes it explores... However, in my opinion Kim Slater covers every one of these themes with sensitivity and uses them to craft a heartwarming tale that could have readers laughing and crying in equal measure. * * Smart is a coming-of-age detective novel with a difference... it's a lovely book with an even lovelier character in Kieran, who in turn has a great voice that will reach a lot of people. Kim Slater is an author to watch - do yourself a favour and remember her name. * *
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About Kim Slater

Kim Slater honed her storytelling skills as a child, writing macabre tales specially designed to scare her younger brother! A self-employed education-budget manager across several Nottinghamshire inner-city schools, she gained a first-class honours degree in English and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University at the age of forty and went on to pursue a MA in Creative Writing. Taking her literary inspiration from everyday life, Kim's debut novel, Smart, brings a brilliant new voice to the world of children's books.

Kim lives in Nottingham with her partner and has one grown-up daughter.
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Rating details

1,563 ratings
3.82 out of 5 stars
5 26% (410)
4 39% (617)
3 26% (404)
2 7% (102)
1 2% (30)

Our customer reviews

Review also available on my blog: Hi guys! Before I actually review this book can I just say, ABSOLUTE COVER LOVE. WOW. When Macmillan contacted me, there wasn’t much info on the press release so I said yes mainly because I wanted this fabulous cover on my shelf. Here are a few pictures I took of my copy: PICTURES AVAILABLE ON MY BLOG. LINK ABOVE. Okay back to the review. So the blurb did not give much away about this book apart from a teenager trying to solve the murder of a homeless man. I was expecting a run of the mill murder mystery with teens solving crimes (kind of like Secret Seven and Famous Five). Which is why, within minutes of starting to read I was surprised by the narrator. Kieran is an autistic boy in year nine who loves CSI and wants to be a journalist. He’s very observant and as you read on you discover that he is really bright as well. I love his narrative voice, it’s so simple and innocent that it gives everything he says a kind of poetic beauty and adds realism to this book. He is a brilliant artist and loves the art by L.S. Lowry - his descriptions of the feelings evoked from it are lovely. Kieran is a wonderful character and his first person narrative voices really makes this book unique and charming. I was also pleasantly surprised at the depth into which this book went. Although at first from Kieran’s childish viewpoint you think that it will be a book for younger readers, you soon realise that Slater is using Kieran’s wonderfully innocent voice to comment on the heart-breaking abuse he and his Mum have to suffer daily. With heavy themes like animal abuse, domestic abuse, child abuse, prejudice, racism and bullying and with a narrator like Kieran this book is more than Kieran solving a murder - it has depth, poetic beauty and topical significance. The ending is really wonderful. The final line links delightfully to the title as people finally realise that although Kieran has been repeatedly called insults like “******” that he is actually incredibly smart and talented. Overall, a beautifully heart-warming book with a surprising depth and a brilliant narrative voice. Highly recommend for an easy, quick read. Gorgeous. 4 stars. What did you think of Smart if you've read it? Were you surprised? :) -Mollyshow more
by Molly Gibson-Mee
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