Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Emily’s family moves. A lot. But the one constant in her life has been Book Scavenger; a game where books are the treasure. When she moves to San Fransisco, the home of Book Scavenger creator Garrison Griswold, she finds that her favorite past time is now a rescue mission.
THERE MAY BE SPOILERS AHEAD
Emily isn’t used to making friends so when she finds out that her neighbor, James, is also a puzzle nerd, they band together to form the best book scavenging team in San Francisco. After Garrison Griswold is mysteriously injured in a BART station, Emily, James, and her brother, Matthew, can’t help but investigate. This leads them to a hidden book that Emily is sure is part of Griswold’s new game. In a mystery sending her around the city visiting famous landmarks and getting chased by scary old men, nothing can stop her and her mission to win – even if it means losing her friendship with James.
What I love about this book is all of the puzzles. They are not only incorporated in the Book Scavenger hunts, but it’s part of their classes as well. Their teacher decides to use code breaking in his class which causes some real chaos amongst those that participate. These codes not only bring the main characters together, but it also breaks them apart. Friendships at that age are so easily made but just as easily lost that Emily really have to put everything in perspective.
This author reminds me of Trenton Lee Stewart. He is responsible for “The Mysterious Benedict Society” books and his latest, “The Secret Keepers.” It’s mystery, and code breaking, and just so fun to read. The entire time I was reading this I kept thinking about what this author’s next mystery would be. I can’t wait to see where she goes in the future!
While we’re at it, can Book Scavenger be a real thing? I went to the website that the author mentioned at the end of the book (Bookcrossing.com) that inspired part of this story and I want it to be as cool and involved as this story. I can’t imagine the kids that would get more out of reading if they had to work to get the book. It’s a reward system in itself!
I am so excited to read the next installment! I have to wait though because I turned a few of my students on to this book and they got checked out the newest one from the library before I did!
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