The Unbreakable Code (The Book Scavenger series) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-05-05 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings

"Love this follow-up to the first Book Scavenger.. and it's just a good! Emily and Jack are back cracking codes... this time an unbreakable one that stems from the time of San Francisco's Gold Rush. Emily, Jack and even Matthew, learn about Mark Twain when their teacher, Mr. Quisling, seems to be involved in a Book Scavenger hunt with a former friend that ends up in arson each time the book Tom Sawyer is located. Ms. Bertman has written another engaging story about kid heroes and successfully intertwines historical events and places of San Francisco throughout the story without sounding "teachy" or dry. Can't wait to read the next in the series.. hoping it is "Book Scavenger: Unlock the Rock" with Al Capone!!!" said.

"Emily and James are back after their successful adventure in Book Scavenger. They are now working with Garrison Griswold, but he seems to have changed a great deal since the accident, and it is not what Emily expected. Their history teacher, Mr. Quisling, is also acting very strangely. They find out that he is trying to solve a mysterious code from the 1800s by tracking down a variety of different editions of Tom Sawyer. As they start to research the code on their own, they learn that the person sending Mr. Quisling on the quest may not be who he thinks it is, and in fact may be putting them all in danger. Another book-filled, code-breaking romp through San Francisco. Highly recommended for grades 4 & up, but start with the first book." said.

"I wasn't sure that any sequel could possibly top Jennifer Bertman's dazzling debut novel, Book Scavenger, but this one did. Once again, she delivers a mixture of lovable characters, puzzle-solving challenges, heart-stopping dramatic action, and abundant humor, all set against the backdrop of an enticingly presented San Francisco. I was particularly struck by the gently delivered tidbits of true philosophical wisdom that are sprinkled throughout the story, especially this one that spoke to me most deeply at my own moment in life: "You make your choices or the world makes them for you." Bertman puts these words into the mouth of Garrison Griswold, "Finding that book you connect with is a type of treasure hunt." Yes! And this series is a treasure for readers." said.

"Emily and James are back again cracking codes in The Unbreakable Code by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman. In this sequel to Book Scavenger, Emily and James are not only searching for books, but also hidden treasure. The kids learn about the unbreakable code after finding a coded note their teacher, Mr. Quisling, drops at a book event. They also learn that Mr. Quisling, a fellow book scavenger himself, is only finding books written by Mark Twain which includes encrypted messages. But after these books are found, suspicious fires are being started. Could Mr. Quisling be a serial arsonist? Can Emily and James figure out the unbreakable code before someone else does? This is a great story filled with suspense, puzzles, and fun historical facts. I loved learning about real-life events and places in San Francisco, and trying to solve the mystery along with the kids. It was a page-turner until the very end! You and your students will love this sequel due out in late April!" said.

"Emily and James start to become suspicious that Mr. Quisling is up to something. They saw him grab something out of a lady's purse, and then he acted really strange at school, so they started following him. They also decoded the message he pulled out of the purse and then dropped which has led them to an ancient unsolved code with ties to Mark Twain and old buried sailing ships under San Francisco. While their trying to break the Unbreakable Code, they're also trying to figure out how to cheer up Mr. Griswold, Emily is worrying about her family's finances, and both of them signed up for the school dance committee which may prove to be a huge fiasco. And the reader knows there's also an arsonist out there calling themselves the Phoenix who is somehow involved and upset at what Emily and James are doing.

Another fun adventure filled with codes to crack, mysterious occurrences, and tours of popular and lesser-known areas of San Fransisco. I would have read this one faster if the last week had been less crazy. Kids are sure to gobble it up.

Notes on content: No language issues. No sexual content. Some danger from fires, but no one gets seriously hurt.

" said.

"*Read at work for review for ROYAL*

Oh man, this book was so much fun! Who doesn’t love the idea of a book filled scavenger hunt that ties in code breaking and a little bit of U.S. history?

Emily and James are two tenacious middle schoolers who love a website called Book Scavenger, where people all over the country hide books and then leave clues for others to decode. When mysterious fires start breaking out across San Francisco that may tie back to their teacher Mr. Quisling, the kids are quickly on the case, working to solve an old unbreakable code and piece together the truth of what’s happening.

I really loved this book; it was such a delight to read. Emily and James have such a great friendship and are bonded by their love for puzzles and book scavenging. I love that they live one floor apart in an apartment complex and that their bedrooms line up, allowing them to pass coded notes to each other through a bucket and pulley system rigged up outside their windows. They work so well together, and have fun along the way.

The history involved is also fascinating, giving information on the gold rush, sunken ships, and Treasure Island.

Overall, this is a great book for any book lover who enjoys a good puzzle and a mystery or two.
" said.

"Emily is thrilled that her parents have decided to call San Francisco, California home for a while at least. Usually, they would have moved to another state to start a ‘new adventure’...fulfilling their dream to live and experience every state and all it has to offer. Emily has found a great friend in James whose family owns the apartment building they all live in. Both Emily and James are readers who love puzzles and scavenger hunts...especially those initiated by Garrison Griswold, a publisher who started The Book Scavenger site.

In The Unbreakable Code, Emily and James are curious about their teacher, Mr. Quisling, and his activity on the Book Scavenger site. It seems he is involved in something that combines Mark Twain books, arson fires, and an unbreakable code. Emily and James are determined to figure it all out and break a code that has baffled many throughout the years. It becomes increasingly dangerous as Emily and James are affected by these arson fires. Can their teacher be a criminal? Or is someone trying to frame him? Could it be an old girlfriend? Yikes!

In this second installment, readers will learn so much about San Francisco history. It is a nearly unputdownable book which takes us all on a scavenger hunt. Familiar book titles are strewn throughout the story and the characters are likeable and engaging. Hopefully, there will be more books in the series. A great read-aloud, too, full of ciphers and coded messages.
" said.

"Bertman, Jennifer Chambliss. The Unbreakable Code. Henry Holt & Company, 2017.

Emily and James have hardly recovered from their adventures in Book Scavenger, and now they notice their teacher Mr. Quisling acting suspiciously. Following him leads to another book-related mystery. Can they solve this mystery before the mysterious arsonist beats them to the answer?

This book was very similar to Book Scavenger, a book I very much enjoyed and frequently promote at my library through book talks. While there are plenty of references to books in this story, is not nearly as literature or library-focused as Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library or its sequel. I loved watching the kids solve the puzzles and wondering if they'd arrive at the correct conclusion before the bad guys caught up with them. I did guess the ending correctly, but I'm not an 8-12 year old, so I don't consider that a bad thing.

Full of San Francisco color and history, this book is highly recommended for tweens, particularly those who are fans of mystery stories.

Recommended for: tweens
Red Flags: "mild peril" - there are a couple of fires that happen and the main characters are occasionally in danger
Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

Read-Alikes: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library, Inkheart, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
" said.

June 2018 New Book:

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