"Smelly" Kelly and His Super Senses: How James Kelly's Nose Saved the New York City Subway
"Smelly" Kelly and His Super Senses: How James Kelly's Nose Saved the New York City Subway

"Smelly" Kelly and His Super Senses: How James Kelly's Nose Saved the New York City Subway

Written by Beth Anderson & illustrated by Jenn Harney
7 - 10
Reading age
Page count
Oct 13, 2020
Publication date

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What's This Book About

Publisher Summary

James “Smelly” Kelly used his super-senses and intelligence to make sure that the New York City subway in the 1930s ran safely throughout his lifetime and beyond. James Kelly smelled EVERYTHING: rats in the shed; circus elephants a mile away; tomorrow’s rain. His sense of smell was EXTRAORDINARY. But what good was a powerful nose? How could his super-sniffer make him special? In the New York City subway, James found his calling–and earned the nickname “Smelly” Kelly. Armed with his super-sniffer and the tools he invented, he tracked down leaks from the dangerous to the disgusting, from the comical to the bizarre. Then, he sprang into action to prevent cave-ins and explosions in the tunnels beneath the city. Smelly Kelly not only hunted leaks but also saved lives–and he discovered the truly extraordinary power inside him. Beth Anderson’s fast-paced text and Jenn Harney’s comical illustrations bring to life this everyday superhero.

What Kind of Book is "Smelly" Kelly and His Super Senses: How James Kelly's Nose Saved the New York City Subway

Primarily about


What Questions Should I Ask My Child

  • Do you think James Kelly is a hero? Why or why not?
  • What's the difference between a superhero and an "everyday hero"?
  • What makes a hero a hero?
  • What do you think you have inside that's special?


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    What Has Beth Anderson Said About This Book

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    Book Details

    Publication Date
    October 13, 2020
    Calkins Creek Books
    Text Details
    Bodoni Egyptian Pro
    Illustration Details
    Page Count
    Reading Age
    7 - 10 years

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    Core Score - 85%

    So, SO close to perfection!

    Depth Score - 37%

    Just the barebones.

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