Posts Tagged ‘Codes’

To Trap a Thief by Des Hunt

April 16, 2019 Comments off

trap thiefTo Trap a Thief by Des Hunt. Pub Scholastic, 2019.

Another exciting adventure novel from a master children’s writer. Once again it is kids verses the adults and the kids are going to win but not before they are put through their paces and a lot of things have changed.

Set in the top half of the South Island from Nelson across to Motueka, Takaka and the Abel Tasman National Park, the backdrop of all the action is melded into the magnificence of this part of new Zealand.

Connors dad died in a plane crash and his mother has taken up with a good man called Morgan. Unfortunately Morgan’s mum and dad don’t like the relationship. To give things a trial Connor and his friend Harvey go on a camping trip in a motorised caravan with Rosen and Denzel, his possible future step grandparents. There is friction. But before all is worked out there are codes to break and a thief to catch.

Before the trip Denzel and Rosen won Lotto and others feel that it was from a ticket that they lost. Is it true? On the trip the boys are roped into a Quest via cell phone and a smooth operator called Frank has a mission of his own.

Easy to read in short chapters with plenty of excitement to lure in the most reluctant readers. Intermediate and Junior secondary.

Ruby Redfort 4: Feel the Fear by Lauren Child.

June 8, 2015 Comments off

fearRuby Redfort 4: Feel the Fear by Lauren Child. Pub. HarperCollins childrens, 2014.

Just got around to reviewing this novel because of work pressures but I wished I had read it earlier. It deals with fear and risk taking, something parents worry themselves sick over.

Ruby is 13 years old and an agent for a secret organisation called SPECTRUM 8 who solve crimes that are out of the ordinary. Ruby has become an agent because of her superior ability to solve puzzles and see things that others don’t notice.

In the 3 previous books she has taken risks that have endangered her life and survived. She begins to think she is indestructable and has conquered her fears. The head of SPECTRUM 8 and her mentor and butler, Hitch, think so too.

A series of crimes committed on high rise buildings has SPECTRUM bemused. A skywalker who climbs the outside of buildings is stealing memorabilia like items connected with the old theatre in town and the legendary actress Margo Bardem. Can Ruby solve it?

High rise terror and lots of fear. Ruby must learn to control fear and to rationalise the risks she is taking.

Good crime writing with puzzles and codes to be broken that are linked to Braille. Some of the snappiest and witty dialogue between Ruby and the other characters that I have read in a children’s book and of course Ruby’s sweatshirts are divine. What are you looking at duhbrain? is the best this time.

For early teens and those that like mysteries. I think it is the best yet. Very clever writing.

The Copernicus Legacy: The Forbidden Stone by Tony Abbott

January 19, 2014 Comments off

forbidden stoneThe Copernicus Legacy: The Forbidden Stone by Tony Abbott. Pub HarperCollins, 2014.

On his 7th birthday Wade Kaplan received a map of the constellations from his uncle Henry. This map of which there are 5 copies was made by  Copernicus, the astronomer who infuriated the catholic Church by proving that the Earth was not the centre of the universe around which all flowed.

This map is a vital clue in unlocking the Copernicus Legacy.

The action starts when uncle Henry is murdered by a group led by the ruthless Galina Krause who want to unravel the Legacy themselves and rule the world.

Wade’s father was a student of uncle Henry as were 5 others and Galina Krause is out to get all of them and find the twelve Relics that together deliver the secret of Copernicus’s Legacy.

Thrilling action all over Europe and America. The fate of how the Earth moves is in the hands of Wade and his friends. But this is only the start of this trilogy from a new author.

The book is easily written in short chapters and the complicated issues are explained simply. A new adventure/fantasy/science fiction novel that will appeal to middle school, Intermediate and junior secondary students.

One of the best parts of the novel is the puzzle solving necessary to break the code. If you do not know what a substitution code is then you are in for a treat. Heady yet simple stuff.

My first children’s novel of the year and I am not disappointed.

Virals part 3: Code by Kathy and Brendan Reichs

December 19, 2012 Comments off

codeVirals 3: Code by Kathy and Brendan Reichs. Pub.Random House, 2012.

Hot off the press for Virals fans this is the one you have been waiting for but is it the end?

In Seizure the Virals – Tory, Hi, Ben, Shelton and wolf dog Coop, found pirate gold and saved research facility on Loggerhead island on the coast of the southern city of Charleston.

The Virals have had their DNA invaded by a virus that gives them wolf like senses and power but it is still evolving and they do not have control of it.

A dangerous psychopath called the Gamemaster has lured them into a life and death struggle by burying a Japanese Himitsu-Bako box on Loggerhead Island. Inside is a code which they break. They  discover that Charleston is under threat of being bombed unless they play the game set by the Gamemaster.

it is an exciting struggle. Everything comes to a head as a Catagory 4 hurricane bears down on Charleston. Will they find and stop the Gamemaster? Do they know him already? Did he lure them in on purpose? Will there be casualties? What part will the Virals special condition play in the story?

Exciting stuff co written by Kathy Reichs and her son Brendan. The action keeps you involved and the short chapters keep you in the book long after you had planned to put it down.

For High school students and young adults. If you have read the first two books you will hunt this down, but it also stands alone as the authors fill in the background for you. If you grew up on Alex Rider and Robert Muchamore books and you like forensic science and codes you will love this novel.

Ruby Redfort: Look into My Eyes by Lauren Child

October 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Look Into My Eyes by Lauren Child. Pub. HarperCollins, 2011.

Ruby Redfort is a smart cookie, in fact she is every smart cookie’s smart cookie. Smarter than the average bear you might say, and you would be right. Got the picture?

Ruby is constantly bored, she needs a challenge and she gets one. Her passion in life is solving mysteries especially those that are in code. She notices detail and has a logical mind. One day she gets a mysterious phone call that is in code. When she solves this code she is hired by a mysterious group called Spectrum who ask her to analyse a file that a previous agent was working on before she was killed in an avalanche. What a way to go!

Meanwhile Ruby’s parents are obsessed with a jade art object that is coming to town, their house is completely stripped in a burglery, the house keeper kidnapped, and a new house manager (butler) called Hitch is hired. How are all these things connected? Well Ruby has to work it all out and she does.

Short chapters, snappy & wiity dialogue and Ruby’s home spun philosophy make this mystery novel a treat to read for primary and intermediate students. The character of Ruby originally appeared in Lauren Child’s novels about Clarice Bean and this looks like it will be a series too.

I will leave you with with some words that appear on one of Ruby’s T-shirts. “some days stink!” but not today.

Trash by Andy Mulligan

September 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Trash by Andy Mulligan. Pub. David Fickling Books, 2010.

This is a stunning novel about poverty, life, corruption and survival in a Third World nation. No country is named but it is most likely the Phillippines.

The reaction you have when you finish the story is Yes Yes Yes! If you have seen the film Slumdog Millionaire then you have got the picture.

Raphael, Gordo and Jun Jun live and work in the dump of a large city. They sift the rubbish as it comes in hoping for a big find that never comes for most. They are dirty, diseased and live an appalling life style.

One day Raphael finds a wallet containing 1100 pesos, an encrypted note,  a key and an identy card. The next day police are around asking about it, offering a reward and Raphael consults his friends Gordo and Jun Jun as to what to do. Because of the urgency shown by the police they decide to unravel the clues given and see what can be found.

What they unravel will leave you breathless and keep you reading till the end of this  tension filled story. It also has a book code to break amidst the action.

A story in five parts narrated by all three boys and an array of characters that fill in crucial parts of the story. It is a story of corruption by high ranking politicians, police and even lesser officials and is probably the way things are in many Third World Countries. The fact that three dump kids can outwit them all, is the most appealing part of the story.

One of the best novels for school years 6/7/8 and even junior high school that I have read this year. It exposes a world we rarely think about but should know about. You will not regret reading this beauty.