Dewey Fairchild, Sibling Problem Solver (Dewey Fairchild, Book 3), by Lorri Horn, (Aug. 2019, Amberjack Publishing), $13.99, ISBN: 9781948705417
Dewey Fairchild is a kid who likes to solve problems and eat cookies. He’s solved kids’ problems with parents and problems with teachers; in his third adventure, he sets his sights on solving sibling problems, even taking on parents as clients! Together with his assistant/cookie supplier, Clara – kind of the Alfred to Dewey’s Batman – and her dog, Wolfie, Dewey’s third adventure will make him look at his own relationship with his own siblings as he takes on new clients.
This is the third book in the Dewey Fairchild series, but you don’t need to have read the first two to enjoy this one. Dewey is middle grader who likes to solve problems and has a secret office that allows him to get some headspace from his family and enjoy the cookies that his 94-year-old assistant, Clara, bakes up as he puzzles out cases. The book emphasizes the problem-solving process, as Dewey interviews new clients, stakes out spaces to see client and sibling interactions for himself, and consult his notes as he works on solutions. As Dewey works through sibling problems, he sees shades of his own interactions with his older and younger sisters – and puts his own theories into action.
Dewey is a likable character, and his emphasis on observation and problem-solving will score big with parents and kids alike. Black and white illustrations of cookies in the process of being nibbled away head up each chapter and will make you hungry. Bake up a plate or two of cookies for a discussion on this one; there’s a lot to discuss here. Give this to your kids who enjoy light mysteries (and have aged up from intermediate titles like the A to Z Mysteries and Cam Jansen) and encourage them to see their own relationships with parents and siblings in a new light.
Dewey Fairchild, Parent Problem Solver received a starred review from Kirkus.