Rave Reviews

Rave Reviews2017-12-20T00:45:16+00:00

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[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of “SuperClara – A Young Girl’s Story of Cancer, Bravery and Courage” by Robert Martin with Keira Ely.]

SuperClara – A Young Girl’s Story of Cancer, Bravery and Courage by Robert Martin and Keira Ely is an illustrated children’s book about Clara, a young girl diagnosed with brain cancer. Clara is five years old; she prides herself on being positive, even in situations that can be scary or uncertain. Clara’s diagnosis means she will have to have surgery, followed by radiation therapy and a strict medication regiment. After undergoing radiation therapy, Clara finds she’s gained a new power: she can talk with animals. She uses this power to help animals who find themselves in similar situations as those Clara experienced when she underwent her journey with cancer.

The author deals with a very serious topic in this book. Most notably,the author uses this book to tackle the scary feelings all people,especially children, would feel in Clara’s situation. For example, Clara deals with anxiety about what her friends will think of her new appearance when she loses her hair after undergoing radiation therapy.These feelings were especially well dealt with because the author did not try to sugarcoat Clara’s experience but focused on staying positive instead. Rather than fear what her friends may think, Clara uses her new appearance as an opportunity to help her young friends understand her journey with cancer.

The narrative does a wonderful job describing the many aspects of cancer treatment in a way which will be understood by the intended audience,and most importantly, the book answers the ‘why’ questions many children will ask. Clara finds answers to questions like why she has to take medicine, and why this happened to her. Instead of just accepting things for what they are, this book successfully conveys the truth behind this terrible disease. Further, this book is incredibly honest, like when Clara’s mother explains to her that no one knows why she got cancer; she just did. I was impressed with the author’s ability to speak to children through this book in a respectful and informative tone, despite their young ages.

The illustrations, created by Dave Drotleff, nicely complement the narrative with their vibrant, pastel colors and coherent message. Clara is portrayed as a normal young girl in the drawings, which helps hone in on the author’s message that children who are diagnosed with cancer are just like any other child and should not be treated any differently.Further, the illustrations are detailed enough to draw the eye, and each illustration correlates with the words on their corresponding page,adding to the narrative.

I was impressed with the author’s ability to handle such a difficult topic and create a storybook aimed to explain this scary disease to a young audience. There is nothing to dislike about the book, and the author’s delightful message will surely help young children better understand what it is like to live with cancer. I rate SuperClara 4 out of 4 stars. The writing in this book is juvenile and aimed towards a young audience; therefore, I would recommend this book be read aloud to children age three to seven. I further recommend that this book be read with an adult as children may have questions about Clara’s journey.


Review for SuperClara:

In the midst of a personal family tragedy Bob Martin and his granddaughter, Keira, have provided a valuable resource that should be helpful to those coping with the illness of a young child. It is difficult to imagine the conflicting emotions that the authors must have experienced while writing about such a personally sad story that ultimately contains an inspiring message of love and hope. Bravo Bob, Keira, and Clara!

Michael Watts

Review for SuperClara:

The story was written with a light touch and positive approach which is great for young readers. It can help a child going through cancer at a young age and give them understanding and compassion towards all stages of this disease. The message of love and hope made me smile towards the end of the book instead of feel the opposite towards something so cruel,That good can come from bad if you’re positive.

Diane B Harvey

Review for SuperClara:

This personal story of cancer survivor Clara provides children facing similar challenges with a model to emulate in order to stay the course and become well again. One of Clara’s most important messages is that attitude is everything and she encourages her super positivity in everyone she meets, including several members of the animal kingdom who need her encouragement and support. This lovely book is a reminder that many good things can come out of adversity!

Dee Long

Review for SuperClara:

This is a very touching story of a girl facing treatment for cancer. It helps a child understand a very scary process and helps them understand the emotional ups and downs of the process. It is well written and can help both children and adults approach the devastating diagnosis of cancer. Congratulations to Bob and Keira for writing such a heart touching story.

Karen S

Review for SuperClara:
An important book for any child dealing with the challenges & bewilderment of cancer. Filled with empathy, comfort, acceptance & joy, this book will be a cherished guide for children, family and friends.


Review for SuperClara:
Well written!
Emotional and heartwarming…donated the book to Boston Children’s Hospital.

Liam Setzero

Review for SuperClara:
A fantastic, inspirational, narrative of a little girl dealing with cancer. We are going to be sure there are copies in the waiting room at Vanderbilt’s Children’s Hospital. Thank you, Robert, Keira and Clara.

Gerry and Jacque Wolken

Review for SuperClara:
Wonderful and inspiring book! Hope it bring much joy to all who read it, as it did for me!

W.J. Strausser

For all those grandparents who love to pass on the joy of reading to their grandchildren, this book is for them. The strong bond between grandparents and grandchildren aids in healthy child development. This book highlights this relationship. Resilient children have trusting, loving, committed people who believe in them. The Keira and Papa Detective Agency nurtures the grandparent grandchild bond enabling resilient children. This is a lovely book that celebrates this important relationship and nurtures it further.

Michelle B. Viro, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist - Specialty Children and Families

The Keira and Papa Detective Agency will be around for years to come! This work captures the essence of the grandparent grandchild relationship and the special role it can play in our lives. This is a feel good story that will put smiles on the faces of child readers as well as the adults who share in the experience. Bob and Keira incorporate into their story the critical developmental topics of self-esteem and character building necessary for emotional success. This series of books will therefore serve a function way beyond mere entertainment. Exciting, fun and special, the world needs more Papa’s and Keira’s!

Dr. Audrey Sherman - Psychologist, Author of Dysfunction Interrupted, Founder of PsychSkills, a personal development company

This book is a wise and gentle exploration of human nature, told with humor and creativity, wrapped in a story that will capture the imagination of its youthful readers and inspire grandparents who share it with them to enrichment of their relationships with their grandchildren.

Carol Tolonen -- Developmental Psychologist, educational consultant and lecturer on education and parenting

I highly recommend this creative and imaginative book. A very loving, committed and caring relationship is demonstrated in this book between a grandfather and granddaughter. This book offers an opportunity for family members to deepen the relationship by engaging in reading this book together and implementing the exercises at the end.

Rev. Dr. John G. Brown III -- pastoral counselor and psychoanalyst

What a valuable book for our young children today. The value of familial relationships, especially those between grandparent and grandchild, is unfortunately not the norm among many American youth. This book celebrates this value as well as celebrating the thirst for knowledge that every young person has but is often not quenched. Bravo to Papa and Keira for showing us all how fun the love of learning and adventure really is. These two are quite a treasure.

Kimberly Spence - Educator

The Case of the Missing Crown Jewels does a wonderful job of showing young people the importance of asking good questions. Keira’s Papa encourages her curiosity and inventiveness and together they investigate and solve puzzles. As an adult reads with a child, he or she can stop and ask, “What would YOU do here? What more would you need to INVESTIGATE to solve this problem? How is this story like your OWN life? How would you CHANGE the ending?

Frannie Moyer - Educator

The Keira and Papa Detective Agency – The Case of the Missing Crown Jewels is well written and entertaining. It is a book both children and adults will enjoy reading and points out the importance of grandparent, grandchild relationships. The story promotes using one’s imagination and encourages children to take risks. An added feature is it acquaints children with some of the history, customs and practices of another country.

Judith E. Mosse B.S., M.Ed.

Love the ‘Historical Fiction’—that’s how children learn! The author employs a lot of history, countries’ traditions, life’s lessons, multicultural phrases and great vocabulary. The close relationship and unconditional love between a grandfather and his granddaughter is instrumental in producing a mystery novel that has it all!

Cynthia Brazer—Educator

What a wonderful story for all Grandparent’s to share with their Grandchildren. Its descriptions were so real and exciting. You actually felt like you were there. More importantly, the relationship between Papa and Keira was so very special. After reading this book Grandchildren will look at their grandparents in a new light. One in which they will be eager to share their dreams, concerns and thoughts from their everyday lives.

Barbara Keating - Grandparent

The Case of the Missing Crown Jewels is a delightful tale. Enjoyed the history involved in solving the mystery. The relationship between Keira and Papa is solidified by the way they work together, their belief in each another. Young and old alike will benefit from reading this story.

Barbara Lyski - Grandparent

A willingness, even an eagerness, to try new things, visit new places and the freedom to let your imagination create fun and solve problems are things every grandpa should encourage in his grandkids. I shared THE PAPA AND KEIRA…. with my 6-year-old granddaughter and she loved it. In fact, she said, “Poppy, I want to be just like KEIRA when I’m 12 and from now on I’m not going to be afraid to raise my hand in class to answer questions from my teacher.

Larry Lamattina - Grandparent

The Case of the Missing Crown Jewels describes in an entertaining and provocative fashion, a special relationship between a grandfather and his granddaughter, which, as a grandparent, I would love to have with each of my grandchildren. The author’s keen insights provide many teachable moments and a helpful compass for grandparents seeking to establish similar bonds. He has captured the essence of such a relationship: trust, respect, unqualified support and friendship.

Mapes and Charlie Stamm - Grandparents

I thought this book was super and I could not put it down!


This is a great book for readers who love mysteries. The ending was a total surprise. I never would have guessed that it would turn out the way it did.


I liked that it was a mystery I could solve based on the clues provided. I found the characters humorous, and Keira so much fun. She and her grandfather make a great team together. I liked the way they teased each other and the mutual affection they share.