Shelby Belgarden isn't exactly thrilled when people start thinking Greg is her boyfriend. After all, she's more interested in the athletic Nick Jarvis. But one day Greg suddenly becomes more interesting to Shelby -- though for all the wrong reasons: Shelby begins to suspect that Greg is responsible for the series of arsons that have occurred in her small New Brunswick town in recent weeks. After finding out that Greg and his father had moved to this town after their old home burnt down - with Greg's mother inside - Shelby finds Greg's gasoline-soaked mitten near the scene of the latest arson.
Shelby launches her own investigation into the crimes. As she does, she becomes aware that whoever is responsible may have been a victim of sexual abuse.
Clearly, she [Valerie Sherrard] knows what she is talking about, and in this book she has done an excellent job of capturing teenage folkways. (Malkin Dare The Guelph Mercury
Teenage readers will be able to identify with Shelby, who has all the normal insecurities and emotional excesses appropriate to her age... Out of Ashes may be of particular interest to those who work with troubled teens. (The Record
Well written, exciting and thought-provoking. (The Guardian, Charlottetown, PEI 2003-02-07)
well crafted and entertaining. (The New Brunswick Reader 2002-08-17)
The trials and tribulations of Shelby Belgarden make for excellent reading, guidance and discussion for young girls and their parents and teachers. (Daily Gleaner (Fredericton, NB) 2002-06-01)
By introducing a romantic triangle involving Shelby, Nick and Greg, Sherrard takes Out of the Ashes beyond the typical adolescent mystery novel. (CM Magazine 2002-05-24)
The novel encourages readers to reflect on why they make the choices that they doan excellent launching point for a discussion about peer pressure. (Elan (Electronic Language) 2004-04-19)
Shelby Belgarden is the new Nancy Drew for budding mystery readers. (VOYA
From the Publisher
Shortlisted for the 2003 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Juvenile Novel.