by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman, illustrated by Sarah Watts
Christy Ottaviano Books, 2016
Middle grade, fiction
Ages 9-14, grades 4-9, mystery
Honors: Pennsylvania Readers Choice Award Nominee, Magnolia Award Nominee
Twelve-year-old Emily moves to a new state every year. Her parents think this is a great family learning adventure, but because of the constant moves, Emily never gets to really make friends. Her only outlet is through an online community called Book Scavenger. It’s a game where people hide books then make clues and puzzles for others to solve and find the book. Emily has become a master at deciphering codes and solving puzzles. Now Emily’s family is moving to San Francisco—home of Garrison Griswald—creator of Book Scavenger. Emily is so excited to have a chance to meet her idol and participate in his newest game. Unfortunately, Mr. Griswald is attacked and his new game is in trouble.
In comes James, Emily’s new neighbor. James is just as much, if not more, of a puzzle fiend as Emily. A great friendship and partnership forms as they try to play Mr. Griswald’s new game while figuring out who attacked him. Emily gets so caught up in the problem, she doesn’t realize she is bullying her new friend with demands. She’s never had a good friend before and doesn’t understand why he won’t drop everything else in his life to do what she says.
The journey Emily and James embark on is filled with interactive puzzles to solve, codes to decipher, and a lesson in friendship that we have all had to face. Emily has to learn that sometimes helping a friend with their problems is more important that playing a game.