Book Scavenger

7 CDs. 8:15 hrs. Recorded Books. Feb. 2016. $77.75. ISBN 9781501908460. digital download.
Gr 4–6—Twelve-year-old Emily has moved again. Her parents' quest to live in all 50 states has now led the family to San Francicso. While Emily is weary of moving and yearns for a chance to put down some roots, she is excited about this move to the home of her literary idol, Garrison Griswold, book publisher extraordinaire and the creator of Emily's beloved Book Scavenger, an online puzzle game inviting players to follow clues and find books hidden all over the country by other players. But as Emily arrives in the city, Griswold is attacked and left in critical condition just before announcing the details of his latest game. Shortly after the incident, Emily and her new friend and fellow puzzle enthusiast, James, find a book that they are certain is connected to Griswold and his game. Following the clues, Emily and James find themselves racing to solve the puzzle before Griswold's attackers catch up with them. Reader Jessica Almasy does a great job of capturing not only the voices of the characters but their hearts as well. Her pacing perfectly matches the tense challenge to solve the puzzle and the quiet frustration of Emily as she fears another move in her future. Listeners will be caught in the suspense of the game but will also be cheering for Emily to make the emotional connections that she longs for.
VERDICT Book and puzzle enthusiasts will enjoy this title, as will listeners who simply enjoy a fun story with relatable, intriguing characters. ["The action drags occasionally, and the characterizations are sparse and sometimes overly cute, but the book's goofy, feckless charm is undeniable": SLJ 5/15 review of the Holt book.]

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