The kids of Baker Street grew up playing together to the fanciful games thought up by Joey Kinkaid. Joey was called the Princess of Baker Street since his games often included Joey in a princess dress being rescued by his best friend, Eric Sinclair. Now, the kids of Baker Street are in Eighth grade and things have changed, the four friends have found themselves in separate cliques. Eric has opted for the route of survival, especially since is mom isn't often around. Eric hangs around with his friends on the soccer team. Joey doesn't exactly fit in anywhere, he would much rather wear his mother's dresses to school than the button up shirts and slacks that his father insists on. When Eric and Joey are paired as study buddies, their friendship rekindles. However, when Joey begins to show up to school in girl's clothing, Eric's allegiance is divided between his friends and his need to fly under the radar.
Timely and relevant, The Princess of Baker Street reaches into the awkward, transitional years of middle school for a group of students, including the Joey who is realizing that he has always been a girl. Told through Eric's point of view, the voices are sincere and realistic for eighth graders. Everyone seems very self-concerned and are worried about where they will fit in. Eric's journey is just as important as Joey's. I felt for Joey as he dealt with an absent mother and the decision to be Joey's friend even if it would cost his popularity. Eric's struggle with his feelings for Joey as he slowly comprehends that not only is Joey a girl, but that he has always seen Joey as a girl as well- a girl that he likes. With these understandings comes big changes and responsibilities. Not all of the changes are handled very well by everyone and reinforces that none of these issues should be handled by the kids by themselves. Insightful and pertinent, The Princess of Baker Street is an important and heartfelt read that can be enjoyed by middle grade through adult readers.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.