Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Unbreakable Code by Jennifer Bertman - ADVISABLE

Bertman, Jennifer Chambliss The Unbreakable Code (Book Scavenger #2), 353 pages.  Henry Holt (Macmillan), 2017.  $17.  Content: G (some danger).

What’s up with Mr. Quisling?  At the book party celebrating the publication of the newly discovered Edgar Allan Poe work, Emily sees her teacher steal something from a woman’s bag!  Serendipitously, Emily gets her hand on the item and she and James discover a cipher called the Unbreakable Code, connected to Mark Twain and San Francisco.  As they dive into the mystery, however, they are warned that the code is cursed – it causes fires!  Could Mr. Quisling be involved some how?  Emily and James are determined to find out.

I have to point out one very odd plot point – the kids are allowed to handle the original Unbreakable Code, which it kept in a folder - they’re even left alone with it.  I find that pretty odd behavior in modern preservation terms and out of character for a rare manuscript.  Besides that, however, Emily and James are plunged right into an exciting mystery that involves them in San Francisco history and modern problems.  The character of the Phoenix (his choice of moniker) is quite odd, and the kids’ personal moral code is sketchy when it comes to using their Book Scavenger privileges to track Mr. Quisling’s movements.  I didn’t find this one as likable as the first, but still a good effort for fans.

EL – ADVISABLE; MS – OPTIONAL.  Cindy, Library Teacher.

No comments: