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A mysterious crime, a different detective

For ages 9-11
3.83 based on 773 ratings & 136 reviews on

2015 Long-listed

The CILIP Carnegie Medal

Macmillan Children's Books

05 June 14


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

The style of writing is pure genius.
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.
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.