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Code Busters Club #01: The Secret of the Skeleton Keyby Penny Warner
Synopses & Reviews
"Readers are active participants . . . and are frequently invited to solve classic forms of code, such as Morse and semaphores. This intriguing tale has vivid characters and such a tantalizing cliffhanger that readers won’t be able to resist cracking the next Code Busters."—Kirkus Reviews
Cody, Quinn, Luke, and M.E. may be really different, but they all share one thing in common: they love playing around with codes. In fact, they love codes so much, they have their own private club, with a super-secret hideout and passwords that change every single day.
When Cody and Quinn notice what could be a code on the window of a nearby house, the one owned by their strange neighbor, the guy they call Skeleton Man, the club gets to work. And it is a cry for help!
Now the Code Busters are on the case—and nothing will stop them from solving the mystery and finding the secret treasure that seems to be the cause of it all!
This exciting interactive mystery offers more than fifteen codes for you to decipher, including the Consonant code, Morse code, and American Sign Language. Test your brain with the Code Busters and solve the mystery along with them. Answers are in the back, if you ever get stuck.
For more code-breaking fun, visit CodeBustersClub.com and join the club!
"This by-the-numbers launch to Warner's (The Mystery of the Haunted Caves) Code Busters Club series introduces four seventh graders who enjoy communicating via various codes — including American Sign Language, Morse code, and a mathematical cipher — that are incorporated into the novel and translated in its back matter. Code devotees may find this engaging, but the conceit adds little to this mystery, which involves a sudden fire that destroys a neighborhood hermit's house and a bizarre couple claiming to be his relatives, who the club members assume are searching for the man's buried treasure. In the neighbor's burnt-out house, the young sleuths find clues — written in code, of course — that lead them to the hermit's will and help them foil the villains' plans. Characterizations are thin, and the book's humor, often of a mildly scatological variety, misses the mark. Laborious detail, repetition, and stilted dialogue slow the pace, and contemporary references to C.S.I., Hurricane Katrina, and text message lingo aren't enough to keep this series from feeling dated out of the gate. Ages 8 — 12. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Penny Warner’s middle-grade mystery, The Mystery of the Haunted Caves, won an Agatha Award and an Anthony Award in 2002 for Best Juvenile Mystery. Her books have received excellent reviews and have been printed in fourteen countries throughout the world.
Warner lives in Danville, California. Visit her online at www.pennywarner.com.
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