Written by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
Illustrations by Sarah Watts
Christy Ottaviano Books 6/02/2015
. . …978-1-62779-115-1
. . . .354 pages Age 8—12
Junior Library Guild Selection
“Twelve-year-old Emily is on the move again. Her family is relocating to San Francisco, home of her literary idol: Garrison Griswold, creator of the online sensation Book Scavenger, a game where books are hidden all over the country and clues to find them are revealed through puzzles. But Emily soon learns that Griswold has been attacked and is in a coma, and no one knows anything about the epic new game e had been poised to launch. Then Emily and her new friend James discover an odd book, which they come to believe is from Griswold and leads to a valuable prize. But there are others on the hunt for this special book, and Emily and James must race to solve the puzzles Griswold left behind before his attackers come after them.” [inside jacket]
Book Scavenger is an absorbing story centered on books, puzzles, ciphers, and scavenger hunts. All around the country, kids are playing a literary online game where the prize is a puzzle solved and a book found. Kids will enjoy reading about Emily and James as they try to figure out Garrison Griswold’s not-yet-announced epic game. A game that would have started had Griswold not been brutally attack for an old book. Thankfully, the attackers are on the bungling side, if not twitchy. They have no idea what they had was what they sought, and threw it away. Emily finds the book, The Gold-Bug, and believes it is the epic game Griswold never announced. Is she right? James, her new neighbor thinks she is. Together they decipher each clue, track down leads, and finally . . . come face-to-face with the bumbling attackers.
Kids will thoroughly enjoy the Book Scavenger. The characters are fun and easy to root for and someone many would trade places with, if to just play the game. The premise is irresistible. Based in San Francisco and peppered with the city’s many landmarks, the story gives big nods to writers such as Edgar Allen Poe and Jack Kerouac. I love the parents’ quest to live in every state, moving the family about once a year. Emily is tiring of new schools and new people she will never really get to know. Emily wants to lay down roots. In James, she has found a kindred soul and wants to keep his friendship, but that would mean not moving on to the next state. This may be a harder sell than finding the valued prize at the end of Griswold’s game—if Emily and James have indeed found this unannounced game.
Book Scavenger will keep readers engrossed all the way to the satisfying end. I would love to play the game book scavenger. If you liked The Westing Game, you will like Book Scavenger, Jennifer Chambliss Bertman’s wonderful debut. (Nominated for a Cybils Award). Just announced: Book Scavenger will have least three books in the series. Book #2 is scheduled for January 2017, with Book #3 in the Fall of 2017.
Big News!! Turns out Book Scavenger is based on a real game at BookCrossing.com. BUT, you can play the real Book Scavenger. Go to BookScavenger.com for details on how to hide Book Scavenger and how to find a hidden Book Scavenger.
BOOK SCAVENGER. Test copyright © 2015 by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman. Illustrations copyright © 1015 by Sarah Watts. Published by Christy Ottaviano Books © 2015.
Purchase Book Scavenger at Amazon—Book Depository—IndieBound Books—Henry Holt.
Book Scavenger Game Details HERE.
Meet the author, Jennifer Chambliss Bertman, at her website: http://jenniferchamblissbertman.com/
Meet the illustrator, Sarah Watts, at her website: http://wattsalot.com/
Find other middle grade novels at Christy Ottaviano Books’ facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/christyottavianobooks
. . Christy Ottaviano Books is associated with Henry Holt and Macmillan.
Indie Next Kids’ Top Ten Pick (Summer 2015)
American Booksellers Association Indies Introduce Debut Authors and New Voices Finalist
Amazon Best Books of 2015 So Far
Publishers Weekly Best Summer Middle Grade Book 2015
SF Gate Summer Reads Recommendation
Junior Library Guild selection
Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved
Full Disclosure: title by author & illustrator, and received from Publisher (an imprint of company), is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”