Released on 05 June 2014.

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A mysterious crime, a different detective

For ages 9-11
3.85 based on 828 ratings & 140 reviews on

2015 Long-listed

The CILIP Carnegie Medal


Shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize, the Federation of Children's Book Groups Prize and longlisted for the 2015 Carnegie Medal, Kim Slater's outstanding debut, Smart, is moving and compelling novel with a loveable character at its heart.

'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.

In the media

I think fans of thoughtful contemporaries will be really impressed by this debut. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more from Kim Slater!
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.
I enjoyed reading this book and have already started to bug people I know to read it.