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Book Scavenger

Book ScavengerBy Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

Imagine a scavenger hunt that involves deciphering secret codes and following clues that could take you all over the city – any city.  Now imagine that the prizes you are seeking are all books.  You can even hide your own books and leave clues for other players.  This is the game of Book Scavenger, and 12-year-old Emily is an avid player.

Emily’s family prides itself on moving to a new city and state every couple of years.  Never having established herself in one place, Emily doesn’t have any friends, but she loves to play Book Scavenger.  When she moves to San Francisco and meets James, a puzzle-loving computer guy, Emily feels she has met a kindred spirit.  

But cracking codes and tracking down books take on a kind of urgency after Garrison Griswold, creator of Book Scavenger, is mugged in a BART (subway) station.  When Emily and James find the book he left behind – The Gold-Bug by Edgar Allen Poe – they discover Griswold’s newly invented game.  Emily is more than excited to begin solving the mystery of The Gold-Bug, but she doesn’t expect to be followed by some very shady characters.  It seems Griswold’s game will lead to treasure, and some people will do anything to find it.

Book Scavenger is a child’s dream: mystery, adventure, codes and ciphers, secret treasure and friendship abound.  The love of books is what spurs Emily on in this can’t-put-it-down thrill-ride through San Francisco.  Any child who loves books will adore Book Scavenger as much as I did! 

Highly recommended. Grades 4-7.