Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
A unique new series (2 books) with shades of the Blue Balliett art mysteries, a touch of Willie Wonka, and of course, Ellen Raskin’s The Westing Games. Add that it is an intriguing book-based literary puzzler, and we’re hooked. The star of the series is twelve-year-old Emily, on the road with her family. She becomes an eager participant in an online gaming community where participants hide books in public places and reveal the locations through encoded clues. The creator, Garrison Griswald, has just announced his latest game, when he is (gasp!) kidnapped. Since Emily is conveniently in San Francisco, Griswald’s home base, at the time of the kidnapping, it falls to her and her new friend James to figure out the clues and literary allusions to solve the mystery. Though tweens and early adolescents can read it themselves, it’s still a terrific family readaloud.