Cover image for Book scavenger. The unbreakable code
Book scavenger. The unbreakable code

Book scavengers ;

Book scavenger.
Book scavenger. The unbreakable code
First edition.
Publisher Info:
New York : Christy Ottaviano Books, a part of Henry Holt and Company, [2017]
Physical Description:
353 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm.
Book scavengers ; [book 2]

Book scavenger.
General Note:
"Christy Ottaviano Books."
"Could the Mark Twain books hidden through Book Scavenger contain clues about the string of recent arson fires plaguing the city? And will Emily and James uncover the mystery before the arsonist comes after them?"-- Provided by publisher.


Call Number
Material Type
J F BERT New or Popular Book

On Order



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. A Christy Ottaviano Book

Author Notes

Jennifer Chambliss Bertman was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She holds an MFA in creative writing and has worked for literary agencies, magazines, and educational publishers, and as a freelance copy editor and proofreader. She is the author of Book Scavenger. and

Reviews 2

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-This second installment leaps in right where the first left off, with middle schoolers Emily and James on the trail of a new coded mystery. Things are heating up as an arsonist called The Phoenix leaves a trail of hidden books and small fires all over San Francisco. While worrying about family finances, figuring out what their teacher Mr. Quisling is up to, taking part in a historical treasure hunt, and planning the school dance, the intrepid heroes have more than enough on their cipher-loving minds. Though the plot stands alone, readers may need to revisit the first book in the series to catch up on necessary exposition. Without the weight of explanation, though, the story speeds satisfyingly along and is, all in all, a successful sequel. Includes supplementary back matter on geographical and historical references. VERDICT Readers who loved the first volume will find this follow-up even more satisfying. Purchase extra copies where there are fans.-Katya Schapiro, Brooklyn Public Library © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

While attending a bookstore party to celebrate the publication of the long-lost Edgar Allan Poe manuscript they discovered in Book Scavenger (2015), seventh-grade sleuths Emily and James notice their social studies teacher acting suspiciously. Their first case may be over, but suddenly they're on the trail again, investigating several individual mysteries that may or may not be connected: the coded message their teacher dropped, the legendary Mark Twain cipher, and a serial arsonist whose latest fire breaks out with Emily present. Age-appropriate literary allusions include Emily reading Zilpha Keatley Synder's The Egypt Game (1967) and James referring to a simple cipher as Nancy Drew level. Making extensive use of San Francisco history and locales, Bertman offers another involving chapter book in the Book Scavenger series, which offers a large, interesting cast of characters, plenty of challenges for code enthusiasts, and more complexity than most middle-grade mysteries. The appended author's note helps readers separate fact from fiction. Young readers captivated by these distinctive characters will be hoping for the series to continue.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2017 Booklist