Book Scavenger

Book Information
Rating: Excellent
Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate
Author: Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
Publisher:Henry Holt and Co.
Year: 2015
ISBN: 9781627791151
Pages: 368

Emily has moved every year for most of her life, but this time moving might not be so bad. She is going to San Francisco where her hero, Garrison Griswold, lives and creates puzzles based on books. Emily spends most of her time playing Book Scavenger where she finds books by solving puzzles. When she learns that Griswold was attacked and no one knows what his plans were for his newest game, she feels convinced that the odd book she found in the BART station where he was attacked is part of the new game. Emily and her new friend James work at solving the puzzles while having to avoid Griswold’s attackers. Along the way, they learn about some important literary stories and landmarks in San Francisco, make new friends, and create their own puzzles and ciphers.

Like The Gollywhopper Games and Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, this book uses a competition for solving puzzles that the readers can solve on their own or with the help of the main characters if they get stuck. Although there are plenty of puzzles, some of them may frustrate readers wanting to solve them because some of the puzzles are mixed with nonfiction elements of details about San Francisco’s history and writers instead of being solvable without that information. Emily’s struggle to find common interests with her brother and to adapt to a new home after moving is relatable to readers who are growing up and adjusting to new situations. At some points in the book the narrative can become childish, like the frequent mention of a cowlick named Steve. Readers who love books about solving puzzles will enjoy this book about literary adventures.