Book Title & Alexandra's Review

The Unbreakable Code (Book Scavenger, #2) by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

4th Grade and Up

(49, 15, 1) (14, 6, 7) (93, 15, 8) (39, 11, 6) (2, 5, 5)*

Mr. Quisling is definitely up to something mysterious, and Emily and James are on high alert. First, there’s the coded note he drops at a book event. Then, they uncover a trail of encrypted messages in Mark Twain-penned books hidden through Book Scavenger. What’s most suspicious is that each hidden book triggers an arson fire.

As the sleuthing friends dig deeper, they discover Mr. Quisling has been hunting a legendary historical puzzle: the Unbreakable Code. This new mystery is irresistible, but Emily and James can’t ignore the signs that Mr. Quisling might be the arsonist.

The clock is ticking as the arson fires multiply, and Emily and James race to crack the code of a lifetime.

I was so excited when I found out that ‘Book Scavengers’ was having a sequel! I loved the first book so much that when I was in San Francisco, I went to one of the bookstores mentioned in the book and bought a signed copy, which included a bookmark and a map of all the places featured in the book. I had initially planned to buy this book at a local bookstore, but I found out that Jennifer Chambliss Bertman would be signing her books at a small bookstore 45 minutes away from where I live. I actually got to talk to her and told her that ‘Book Scavengers’ was one of the first books I reviewed on this blog. That seemed to make her happy, and that made me happy. But that’s enough about me. On with the review!

I love secret codes! I made up my own code in elementary school, but the alphabet was written in weird symbols. It was so complicated Icouldn’t figure it out. I don’t have the paper I wrote the code on, but I remember that I liked my version of the letter E a lot. I wish these books had been around when I was a kid; I would’ve gotten more into codes.

Like the first book featured Edgar Allan Poe, this book features Mark Twain. Fun Fact: Mark Twain did, in fact, live in San Francisco between the years 1864 and 1866. I learned a lot of new things about San Francisco. For example, about 50 ships are buried under downtown San Francisco. Check out the Author’s Note to find out what’s fact and fiction. In the Acknowledgements, it is said that these books will become a whole series. I wonder what famous author she’ll feature next. I’m hoping for Charles Dickens or William Shakespeare.

Let’s take a break from facts and codes and talk about another thing I learned in this story. The It’s-It! A San Francisco tradition since 1928! A large scoop of ice cream sandwiched between two oatmeal cookies and dipped in dark chocolate! I am so getting one next time I go to San Francisco! See the picture below:

And as a bonus, here is a Baldo comic for all the book lovers out there:


 (*To crack the code, see page 128)

(**Three letters back)

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