Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Young Adult Fiction Mysteries & Detective Stories

Out of the Ashes

A Shelby Belgarden Mystery

by (author) Valerie Sherrard

Dundurn Press
Initial publish date
Mar 2002
Mysteries & Detective Stories, Law & Crime, Girls & Women
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2002
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2002
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Mar 2002
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 12 to 15
  • Grade: 7 to 10
  • Reading age: 12 to 15


Short-listed for the 2003 Red Maple Award and Arthur Ellis Award for best Juvenile Book, commended for the 2003 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Our Choice Selection
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.

About the author

Valerie Sherrard first decided to become an author when she was in grade six! Her homeroom teacher that year, Mr. Alf Lower, praised and encouraged her efforts and instilled in her a lifelong belief in her ability to write. After producing about a dozen books for teens, Sherrard turned her hand to picture books. There’s a COW Under My Bed! introduces Oscar Ollie Brown, who will be embarking on his second adventure in There’s a Goldfish in my Shoe! in the fall of 2009. Since becoming a published author, Sherrard has enjoyed visiting many classrooms and libraries to speak to young people about writing, literacy, and most of all, finding and following your dreams. Born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Valerie has spent time in a number of provinces, including her current home of New Brunswick. She lives in Miramichi with her husband Brent and their four cats: Lilly, Thragg, Patootie and Cody.

Valerie Sherrard's profile page


  • Short-listed, Arthur Ellis Award for best Juvenile Book
  • Commended, The Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice Selection
  • Short-listed, Red Maple Award

Editorial Reviews

Clearly, she [Valerie Sherrard] knows what she is talking about, and in this book she has done an excellent job of capturing teenage folkways.

The Guelph Mercury

well crafted and entertaining.

The New Brunswick Reader

Shelby Belgarden is the new Nancy Drew for budding mystery readers.


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)

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

By introducing a romantic triangle involving Shelby, Nick and Greg, Sherrard takes Out of the Ashes beyond the typical adolescent mystery novel.

CM Magazine

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)

Other titles by Valerie Sherrard