What if playing video games was prepping you to solve an incredible real-world puzzle and locate a priceless treasure? Read more...
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What if playing video games was prepping you to solve an incredible real-world puzzle and locate a priceless treasure?
Twelve-year-old Ted Gerson has spent most of his summer playing video games. So when his great-uncle dies and bequeaths him the all so-called treasure in his overstuffed junk shop of an apartment, Ted explores it like it's another level to beat. And to his shock, he finds that eccentric Great-Uncle Ted actually has set the place up like a real-life escape-the-room game
Using his specially honed skills, Ted sets off to win the greatest game he's ever played, with help from his friends Caleb and Isabel. Together they discover that Uncle Ted's -treasure- might be exactly that--real gold and jewels found by a Japanese American unit that served in World War II. With each puzzle Ted and his friends solve, they get closer to unraveling the mystery--but someone dangerous is hot on their heels, and he's not about to let them get away with the fortune.
Praise for Click Here to Start
-As addictive as your favorite video game. I couldn't put it down.--Adam Gidwitz, New York Times bestselling author of A Tale Dark and Grimm
-Humor, believable characters, and adventure...keeps readers in suspense to the end. A winner for mystery enthusiasts.--Kirkus Reviews
-In this clever debut, Markell takes readers on a clue-filled adventure... and] maintains an energetic, entertaining balance of character-driven narrative and tricky challenges.--Publishers Weekly
-Markell's highly entertaining debut novel...is a well-paced read with fully realized and likable characters, ... and] should have strong appeal to gamers, fans of video game-based stories, and reluctant readers.--SLJ
-This book will appeal to a wide audience. Readers who enjoyed Schreiber's Game Over, Pete Watson will enjoy the video game component; fans of Fitzgerald's Under the Egg will enjoy reading more about the Monuments Men; detective story aficionados will revel in the inclusion of The Maltese Falcon story. This is a great book to hand to just about any middle grade reader.--YA Books Central
A School Library Guild selection
An Amazon Best Books of the Month Selection
- ISBN-13: 9781101931875
- ISBN-10: 1101931876
- Publisher: Delacorte Press
- Publish Date: July 2016
- Page Count: 320
- Reading Level: Ages 10-UP
- Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 1.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.95 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-05-09
- Reviewer: Staff
In this clever debut, Markell takes readers on a clue-filled adventure featuring three 12-year-olds in search of a treasure lost since the waning days of WWII. Ted Gerson is an expert at locked-room video games, priding himself on never needing a walkthrough to solve them. When Ted’s Japanese-American great-uncle (and namesake), who fought as part of the Nisei brigade during the war, dies and leaves Ted the contents of his apartment, he discovers that it has been arranged like one of his games, with hints to guide him toward a mysterious reward. He enlists best friend Caleb and book-smart Isabel to unravel Great-Uncle Ted’s secrets, but they’re racing against the clock, as well as others interested in whatever lies at the end of the game. Markell maintains an energetic, entertaining balance of character-driven narrative and tricky challenges, even if some of the leaps of logic are fairly farfetched. It’s also clear that Markell is setting up a potential series, as some of the biggest questions remain unanswered, such as who might have helped Great-Uncle Ted arrange matters so conveniently. Ages 10–up. Agent: Holly Root, Waxman Leavell Literary. (July)
A real life escape-the-room adventure
Ted Gerson has honed his skills at online escape-the-room games to extreme sharpness—nothing gets past him. When his great uncle dies and leaves him the contents of his apartment, Ted has high hopes; although it looks like a hoarder’s paradise, he thinks there might be some actual treasure from his great uncle’s service in World War II. His mother is more concerned that this was a practical joke intended to get the place cleaned out for free. But as Ted, his best friend, Caleb, and new-girl-in-town Isabel get to work, they find that the apartment itself is eerily similar to an escape-the-room game.
Debut author Denis Markell keeps the mystery interesting by introducing bad guys who might actually be good, and there are many nods to history and classical literature mixed in with the puzzle-solving fun. Information about Japanese internment camps is introduced gently enough that some readers will be inspired to learn more on their own.
Click Here to Start combines history, mystery and friendship, and fans of Ellen Raskin or Blue Balliett will find it irresistible.