Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: M.J. Knight
This code-cracking book lets kids take part of an adventure while learning some non-fiction facts about the lost city of Atlantis. The main character, Amy James, explorer, asks for the reader’s help to put together clues to find out what happened to Atlantis. Amy hides away on the Neptune, a ship in 1885, to find the lost city. When Amy gets caught, she and the captain realize that their same goal might lead them to the lost city. They explore many places and think they found the lost ruins, but a storm prevents them from too much exploration of their discovery. Along the way, there is lots of information on the story of Atlantis, underwater exploration, ships during the late 1800s, sea exploration, legends of Crete, and other non-fiction information.
This book allows kids to interact with the book and to put their minds to work at solving the codes and puzzles involved in the story. It seems odd that the book ends with finding Atlantis and not being able to explore it. Even though it says they plan to come back and look at it more later, it makes it feel anticlimactic, although it could possibly be explained by the book being historical and it wouldn’t work with our historical narrative if they had actually discovered and been able to explore the city. Kids who are fans of history, codes, and puzzles will enjoy being part of an adventure even though the story itself isn’t as exciting as it could be.