Twelve-year-old Emily is ready to settle down. When her parents made the decision to try to live in all fifty states and write a book about their adventures, Emily was not even born yet. Exciting and unpredictable worked when she was too young to realize what she was missing. Now she just wants to live like other children her age and make friends that will last for more than a few months.

The one constant in Emily’s life, other than her parents and her brother Matthew, has been the Book Scavenger game. Readers all over the country read and hide books, leaving clues online for others to find them. Now her family is moving to San Francisco, the home of Garrison Griswold, founder of Book Scavenger. Emily thinks that this fact and the instant friendship with her classmate James might just make this latest move bearable.

When she learns that Mr. Griswold has been shot and is in critical condition, though, she fights to suppress the fear that Book Scavenger may come to an end. Little does she know, a book she found in a subway station is the clue not only to Mr.Griswold’s latest online challenge, but also to discovering the identity of his attackers.

Mystery and puzzle-lovers alike will enjoy Jennifer Chambliss Bertman’s first novel. A balanced combination of action and cryptic codes keeps readers engaged. Emily has more to solve than ciphers, however. Being a good friend sometimes requires sacrifice.

Parents should be aware of one detail. While the account of Mr. Griswald’s attack is not graphic, he is shot at the beginning of the book, and they may feel this inappropriate for young readers.

A former teacher, Jennifer Minicus is currently a full-time wife and mother.

Jennifer Minicus

Jennifer Minicus lives in New Jersey with her husband and son. A former French, Latin and mathematics teacher, Jennifer currently enjoys the responsibilities of a "domestic engineer", particularly making...