Rummanah Aasi

Description: Emily is on the move again. Her family is relocating to San Francisco, home of her literary idol: Garrison Griswold, creator of the online sensation Book Scavenger, a game where books are hidden all over the country and clues to find them are revealed through puzzles. But Emily soon learns that Griswold has been attacked and is in a coma, and no one knows anything about the epic new game he had been poised to launch. Then Emily and her new friend James discover an odd book, which they come to believe is from Griswold and leads to a valuable prize. But there are others on the hunt for this book, and Emily and James must race to solve the puzzles Griswold left behind before Griswold's attackers make them their next target.

Review: If you like books and puzzles then Book Scavenger is right up your alley. Emily is an avid player of Book Scavenger, the hidden-book game masterminded by publishing legend Garrison Griswold. When her family moves to San Francisco, home of Griswold’s Bayside Press, she hopes it will position her favorably for the new game he’s about to launch. The new game's launch is halted, however, as Griswold is mugged and left in a coma, and the book he was carrying—a new edition of the Edgar Allan Poe short story “The Gold-Bug”—is missing.
  While sight seeing the city with her new friend, fellow code-enthusiast James and her musically obsessed older brother Matthew find the book. Emily and James take the book home and read it to see if there is a new puzzle to solve. As Emily and James read the book, they discover typos in the text that spell out words: fort, wild, rat, home, open, belief. Emily and James start following the clues and are soon played in a dangerous cat and mouse pursuit by others who want the book, and they’ve already shown they’re willing to hurt people to get it.
  In this fun mystery, the codes and ciphers take center stage in the book. There are plenty of clues for the reader to try solve the puzzles by themselves but there are plenty of explanations for the answers as Emily and James solve the questions.While there isn't much character development as I would have liked in the book, I did like growth of Emily and Jame's new friendship as they wade through the waters of trust, support, and other characteristics of a good friendship. I also had a blast traveling all over San Francisco's landmarks as the duo go on the hunt for clues and answers. I also learned cool information that I didn't know before such as Poe's love of ciphers, the strange and true story of Rufus Griswold, and the outcome of a real book based scavenger hunt from 1979. I plan on reading other books in this promising mystery series.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: Grisworld is shot in the back and mugged though the details aren't graphic. Recommended for strong Grade 3 readers and up.

If you like this book try: The Unbreakable Code (Book Scavenger #2) by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman, Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein, Island of Dr. Libris by Chris Grabenstein, Shakespeare's Secret by Elise Broach, and Chasing Vermeer series by Blue Balliett
2 Responses
  1. This would be a good book to read a loud with my kids. I think they would have fun solving the puzzles.

  2. Oh I do think I know the perfect people for this book. I know several that love puzzles... and of course, I would have to read it first. Just to check that it is something they would love... ;)

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