The social world can often be a mystery, even to the smartest of individuals. While social relationships are frequently an incredible source of joy and satisfaction, they are equally a common source of frustration and confusion. What is someone to do if their entire social world is a mystery to them? How is a person supposed to proceed in life if they truly do not understand why others act the way they do, or how they are supposed to behave with others in order to fit in?
While Diary of a Social Detective is first and foremost a detective/mystery book for young readers, it is also a book that addresses these often unspoken questions and offers clear-cut, practical strategies for solving social mysteries. This book is very different from other books that help kids with social skills. Instead of dry, theoretical solutions to social problems, Diary of a Social Detective delivers insights, tools and solutions with a very engaging storyline that kids can relate to. As a result, it has appeal not just for kids in need of social tools but for a wider group of children who are simply in search of engaging reading material.
The book begins with a chronicle of Johnny’s personal transformation from social misfit to the most socially savvy kid in school. This transformation motivates Johnny to help others solve their own social mysteries, so he starts the first ever social detective agency and becomes the Encyclopedia Brown of the social world. The remainder of the book involves cases taken directly from Johnny’s detective notebook. All the cases are set up to allow the reader to use their own social detective skills to solve the mysteries. At the end of each story there is a section called ‘Cracking the Case’ in which Johnny solves the social mystery and offers practical solutions to the social dilemmas that are presented in each case.