Book Scavenger

By: Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

Emily loves puzzles. When her family's latest move is to San Francisco—home of the Book Scavenger game's creator—she becomes embroiled in a real-life literary mystery. Author's note. Black-and-white illustrations.

ISBN: 9781627791151


Series: Book Scavenger
Sensitive Areas: No sensitive areas
Topics: Treasure hunt , Books and reading , Adventure and adventurers , Publishing and publishers , Moving households , San Francisco, California , Mystery and detective stories , Friendship , Siblings

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Awards & Honors

Oregon Battle of the Books (OBOB) 2018—2019 Nominee North Carolina Young Adult Book Award 2017—2018 Nominee Amazon.com Best Books of the Year 2015, Ages 9–12
Chicago Public Library Best Books of 2015, Fiction for Older Readers
2015 Cybils Awards Nomination, Middle Grade Fiction
Triple Crown National Book Award 2016-2017 Lamplighter Winner
Children’s Literature Assembly, 2016 Notable Children’s Books in the English Language Arts
Children’s Book Committee Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Books of 2016, Fiction

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, The Horn Book Magazine, The Horn Book Guide^, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

Twelve-year-old Emily doesn’t have enough time to get attached to places. She and her family move yearly, pursuing a Kerouac-inspired, footloose family adventure. Through their travels, Emily anchors herself through an online community called Book Scavenger, a geocaching-style game where participants hide books in public places and reveal the Twelve-year-old Emily doesn’t have enough time to get attached to places. She and her family move yearly, pursuing a Kerouac-inspired, footloose family adventure. Through their travels, Emily anchors herself through an online community called Book Scavenger, a geocaching-style game where participants hide books in public places and reveal the locations through encoded clues. Book Scavenger is the brainchild of Garrison Griswold, the “Willy Wonka of publishing,” a San Francisco—based publisher with a penchant for elaborate spectacles and games. When Emily’s family moves to San Francisco, she’s excited to encounter the elusive Griswold and to participate in his newest game. Unfortunately, he is attacked on his way to a press conference, and even Emily’s beloved Book Scavenger may be in jeopardy. The key to it all just might be in a mysterious book that Emily and her new neighbor James found at the BART station, but time is running short, and sinister (if bumbling) forces pursue them. Sprinkled with ciphers, San Francisco landmarks, and literary allusions, Book Scavenger is a fun, light, implausible adventure. The action drags occasionally, and the characterizations are sparse and sometimes overly cute, but the book’s goofy, feckless charm is undeniable. VERDICT This will appeal to fans of Blue Balliett’s art-world mysteries.—Katya Schapiro, Brooklyn Public Library

Horn Book

Twelve-year-old Emily is an avid player of Book Scavenger, the hidden-book game masterminded by publishing legend Garrison Griswold. When her family moves to San Francisco, home of Griswold’s Bayside Press, she hopes it will position her favorably for the new game he’s about to launch. But then Griswold is mugged and left in a coma, and Twelve-year-old Emily is an avid player of Book Scavenger, the hidden-book game masterminded by publishing legend Garrison Griswold. When her family moves to San Francisco, home of Griswold’s Bayside Press, she hopes it will position her favorably for the new game he’s about to launch. But then Griswold is mugged and left in a coma, and the book he was carrying—a new edition of the Edgar Allan Poe short story “The Gold-Bug”—is missing. At the site of the mugging, Emily and her new friend and fellow code-enthusiast James find the book and take it home, where, upon reading it, they discover typos in the text that spell out words: fort, wild, rat, home, open, belief. Emily and James start following the clues—but nefarious others want the book, and they’ve already shown they’re willing to hurt people to get it. Codes and ciphers star in this puzzle-game of a novel, offering challenges for code-breaking fanatics plus plentiful explanations for those who prefer that someone else do the legwork. A hiccup in Emily and James’s new-fledged friendship and questions over which of their adult accessories are trustworthy create an emotional arc that supports the more cerebral treasure hunt aspects, while the solution employs so many San Francisco landmarks that the city and its literary history take a best-supporting-player award. An intriguing author’s note gives further information on Poe’s love of ciphers, the strange story of his literary executor Rufus Griswold, and the outcome of a real-life book-based treasure hunt from 1979. anita l. burkam

Book Details

ISBN

9781627791151

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

5 1/4" x 8"

Page Count

368

Accelerated Reader

Level 5.5; Points: 11;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 5.3; Points: 17;

Lexile

Level 810L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Henry Holt

Potentially Sensitive Areas

No sensitive areas

Topics

Treasure hunt, Books and reading, Adventure and adventurers, Publishing and publishers, Moving households, San Francisco, California, Mystery and detective stories, Friendship, Siblings,

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