Thursday, June 8, 2017

Book Review: The Unbreakable Code

The Unbreakable Code is the second book in the Book Scavenger series by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman. I always feel sorry for an author who hits it big with a book meant to be the first in a series, because they face enormous odds against them for creating a book that will rival, or even equal, the first. I would certainly feel pressured in their shoes. Although this was a valiant effort, I do think I enjoyed the first book more than the second (gave it a "highly recommend"). Of course, I had my own pressure from a hold list requiring me to read the book when I might not have been in quite the right mood for it. It was very similar to the first because it held puzzles and codes and a mystery tying them all together.

This time around Emily and James, neighboring kids who love cracking codes and solving puzzles, are curious about their teacher's strange behaviors. They catch Mr. Quisling reaching into someone's purse to retrieve a clue to his own puzzle. When he drops the clue, they are pulled into his quest to solve Mark Twain's "unbreakable code." As the two seek out the hidden Twain books in their beloved Book Scavenger game, an arsonist begins setting fires. They are not only driven to solve the unbreakable code but also to figure out who is responsible for the various fires.

I do tend to think I was just not quite in the mood for a tween mystery book because the book has received all five star reviews so far on Amazon. Everyone else has overwhelmingly argued that Bertman has done it again. She has written a book sure to delight tweens and families who love puzzles, ciphers, codes, and treasure hunts. Fans of the Mr. Lemoncello's Library books will also be thrilled with this series. I'm not giving up on this series, but I will time my future reads to fit my mood better. Who knows, maybe I'll recommend the series to Sean for some riveting summer reading.

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