Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Book Review: Book Scavenger - Highly Recommend

If you are a fan of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library, then you will probably enjoy this book. Author Jennifer Chambliss Bertman has created a story full of puzzles, books, and danger. In Book Scavenger, you get a healthy dose of codes to crack, puzzles to solve, and characters to love.

The book opens with an introduction to a special game called Book Scavenger. It follows the principles of geocaching and involves hiding and finding books, similar to Book Crossing, an actual site where you can label and track books you send forth into the wider world. Emily is a twelve year old player who is determined to reach the rank of Auguste Dupin, the second highest ranking in the game. Even though she is moving with her family to San Francisco, she knows that she can play the game anywhere her crazy family decides to move. They are, indeed, a family of movers as Emily's parents write a blog about their quest to live in fifty states. This constant moving has taken a toll on Emily and her brother, Matthew, and Emily just wants to make some new friends who are as crazy about book scavenging as she is.

Several events take place to propel the story in motion. Garrison Griswold, the creator of the Book Scavenger game is attacked on a San Francisco BART station. Emily and her new friend, James, happen upon a book they are sure is the start of Griswold's newest game, a game he was meant to unveil on the day of his attack. Some suspicious men are also after the book and the clues that Emily and James are uncovering. Will the kids unravel the mystery before they meet the same fate as Garrison Griswold?

I had hoped to read the book aloud to Sean, but he is knee-deep in his own reading right now (reading 45 minutes to an hour daily in order to meet some reading goal for his fourth grade class). I was gobsmacked when he brought home copies of Great Expectations and The Hunger Games. For a nine-year-old, he's blowing me away. Makes a reading mother's heart burst. Perhaps he'll stumble onto a copy of this excellent book at his school library. It is definitely a five star book and an outstanding debut novel!

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