BOOK REVIEWS

The Unbreakable Code (The Book Scavenger series) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-05-05 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings
ISBN:1627791167
LANGUAGE:English

" I don't read many childrens' books as I used to since my kids read to themselves now, but I do like this series quite a bit. " said.

" Weird that I was able to pick this book up a few days before its publication date. I was excited to read it though! I think that the cover is pretty cool. I love how James and Emily are silhouetted. I think that with the drab land color, the brightness of the landmarks, ocean, and title pop out at you really well.

I love learning about new ciphers and codes. The Unbreakable Code immersed me in a whole new world of codes. Substitution ciphers are simple things the protagonists use quite often. I love how the author made difficult situations really fun. As the characters struggle to solve a code, someone suggests a cipher and we learn how to use it. The characters become intrigued and provide a few examples for the reader and other characters to understand. Often, these ciphers influence the Unbreakable Code.

There is a whole lot of action in here. Arson, following mysterious teachers around San Francisco, eavesdropping, "hacking" into online quests.. There is action on every turn. Everything the characters do is connected with the plot. Foreshadowing is an important element. A fun school dance can turn into a showdown between two teachers, or a celebration at a bookstore can turn into the beginning of a mystery. Sometimes it feels like the story is going too fast. I think that the setting in San Francisco contributed to the action.

The characters are so determined. I think that it's amazing how they stick with things. They do so much, it's hard to comprehend their emotions. In the book, Emily was worried about something, and less than a chapter later, it was solved. I didn't feel like I could connect with their characters. A good book's emotions reminds me of the heartbeat of a living person, up and down. The emotions in this book seemed dull and lifeless.

There is no character growth at all. The author pulls in some surprise family issues - the possibility of moving, lack of money, etc. Issues like these often lead to the protagonist making assumptions that could jeopardize the situation. All Emily does is worry about it. The characters do not undergo something that tests their faith and strength in each other. The relationship between Emily and James didn't teach me much. I feel that a relationship should teach me something, and sadly, the relationships in this book lacked the lessons I feel it needed.

I was bugged because in order to solve a puzzle, you had to use lemon juice/ultraviolet light. Even though it is highly probably I would've never solved it, I felt that readers should've been able to try and solve the cipher themselves.

A horrible cliché in mystery books is when the characters eavesdrop on some information. They aren't supposed to learn it, or it is just casually tossed in a conversation, and with a little digging, it is pivotal to the plot! It's frustrating because, voilà, the information they need is right there , and how convenient, it's in a conversation they were listening to! Unfortunately, this happened in The Unbreakable Code.

Book Scavenger seemed a little lost. In the previous book, Book Scavenger was a fun, interactive game and I learned a lot about how it worked! In The Unbreakable Code , it seems very flat. There is no amazing chase to find a book, or finding new hidden copies with a cipher. In this book, we found the same copy of the same book, and its' contents had little to do with the plot. I think that it's very innovative to create a website for it.

I don't think the chapters from the antagonist's POV added to the story. It provided the information of what the antagonist called himself, what he used for arson, and that he was doing this for revenge. I think that foreshadowing who the antagonist was could've been better.

I also think that the historical significance of the Gold Rush could've been better communicated.

The Unbreakable Code is a fun book filled with puzzles and ciphers. The next book will be very similar to Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein. Although it is filled with action, I feel that it could've contained some important life lessons. I enjoyed it, but after rereading it I noticed more and more flaws.

Another book readers might be interested in is The Spy's Handbook by Herbie Brennan. Although it focuses on spies, it teaches a lot of fun new codes and ciphers. Kim Aippersbach recommends books by Blue Balliett.

Read my review at Reading Violet: http://librarymind.weebly.com/home/mm...
" said.

"I received and advanced copy of this book from the author. This is my honest review of the book.

It's always a bit nerve wracking to read the second book of a series. Especially if you LOVED the first book so, so much. I'm not sure why I was so worried... "The Unbreakable Code" was everything I hoped that the follow-up to "Book Scavenger" would be... and nothing that I expected.

Bertman continues with the story of teenage code-breakers and treasure hunters Emily and James. And many familiar faces are back in this series continuation. The book doesn't contain as many codes and ciphers, but that is ok, a treasure hunt is afoot! The duo are off trying to find gold-rush era gold by solving a code that no one has been able to break. Mark Twain and Tom Sawyer even make an appearance.

It's clear that Bertman has spent a fair amount of time in and around San Francisco; plenty of historical facts frame this fictional story. The characters are well developed and the book is a fun and engaging read. I plowed through it wanting to know the ending.

This book hasn't even hit the shelves and I'm anxiously awaiting the final book of the series. It seems that Bertman has it set up to be "Unlock the Rock" with themes similar to "EsCape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library" but I guess we'll have to wait awhile to see what's up her sleeve.

Do yourself a favor and put "The Unbreakable Code" on your 2017 reading list. And buy a copy or two for your favorite middle grade readers while you're at it.
" said.

"Book ScavengerThe Unbreakable CodeBook scavenger is about a girl named Emily who moves all around the country for a family living and has been to many states and was born in Arizona. And then in this book they settle in San Francisco and meets James at the apartment they moved into. Next they scavenge for a book and they find a book find with a gold beetle while hunting for Adventures of Tom Sawyer hidden by Coolbirth. They find a game that they think no one but them knows about. And then they meet Hollister at his shop and they also hide and find books there and they find a Maltese Falcon book that’s the extension of the gold beetle.
And also along the way they discover their teacher is a quote “poacher” that stole a Mark Twain Tom Sawyer book (note the book for later in the report). Also the problem is 3 men are going against them and 2 of them are hunting them down to the point that they are tracking them down to calling there school Brooker Middle School. Finally at the end they meet the CEO of book scavenger/ Bayside Press, the creator of the game. In the second book they go to the party as the prize at Holsters that had the book the gold bug which led them the whole way through for the prize. As that was happening there was an arsonist fire that someone made.
Then they find out about Charlie and Coolbirth and the multiple arsonist fires, at Hollister's and where ever there’s a hidden copy of Tom Sawyer that is hidden by Coolbirth. Secondly someone sets the Hollister's on fire, then also Emily and James are on the dance committee. Also on the night of the dance someone switches the fog machine liquid with a gas and it made the building go on fire. Finally Mr. Quisling falls back from putting it in and leaves quickly setting the fire alarms off. Later the Sherriff department is questioning him and they sneak in and come to his defense and reveals the Charlie=Coolbirth theory but then they find the sub teacher Mr. Sloan is the arson after he reveled that he was the phoenix and rose from the ashes and then the sheriff arrested him an counts of arson.
Finally they take Mr. Quisling and Emily’s family to the library’s 4th floor history center and show Mr. Quisling the black light of the characters 希望 which translates to hope. And next they take the librarians boat to gull island and used the clue 3 trees from the duck rock that they translated and they find a stump with a crack filled with bird dodo and they use the head of a shovel to scrape through every single layer of it. In it they found a shallow palm sized bowl with a paper which they used to sand down to find the hidden gold. Then after that they go to a painting party at Hollister's and offer the 10,000 dollars each that they got and Hollister denies Book Scavengerand then Mr. Griswold reveals the Escape the Rock idea to fix up Hollister's by inviting the most elite players and then auctioning off all the other tickets.
" said.

" Great story with great characters. Great mystery to it. The twist at the end was unexpected but in a good way. Great book! Keep it up, Jennifer! " 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.

" Expected publication: June 7th 2016 " said.

June 2017 New Book:

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