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The Puzzling World of Winston Breen (The Puzzling World of Winston Breen #1)

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  1,982 ratings  ·  190 reviews
Winston Breen finds puzzles everywhere, even on pizzas, and solving them is what he does best. But when his sister uncovers mysterious wooden strips with words and letters that even Winston can't figure out, the entire family is obsessed. It turns out the strips are part of a scavenger hunt that a town patriarch set up for his children. If all four sets are put together, t ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published September 20th 2007 by Putnam Juvenile (first published January 1st 2007)
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The Westing Game by Ellen RaskinFrom the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. KonigsburgThe Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian SelznickHarriet the Spy by Louise FitzhughEncyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol
Best Mysteries for Young Readers
37th out of 194 books — 283 voters
The Magic Half by Annie BarrowsCaptain Nobody by Dean PitchfordThe Puzzling World of Winston Breen by Eric BerlinPlease Write in This Book by Mary AmatoElephant Run by Roland Smith
Maud Hart Lovelace 2011-2012
3rd out of 20 books — 9 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Plot: Winston buys a last minuete birthday present for his sister. The present is a fancy box. Opening the box Winston's sister discover a false bottom in which four puzzle tiles with words have been hid. Winston, a master puzzle solver, can't make anything out of the words until he discovers that other people have more of the tiles. Winston, his sister, and the others have to join forces to solve the puzzle and begin a treasure hunt for a missing ring.

A very different book. This book contains p
Tremendously engaging young adult mystery that contains quirkiness that keeps you turning the pages.
Feb 07, 2014 K rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Puzzle and mystery lovers and anyone who likes a good treasure hunt
Shelves: mystery, modern
Alright I admit it, I have a weak spot for mysteries. Actually scratch that I flat out love them. Unfortunately some mystery novels can be hit or miss in my experience so I tend to check them out at the library instead of plunking down cash up front. However I also happen to love puzzles, and most anything that incorporates them in some shape or fashion, so when I saw this book at the store I hardly stopped to think before snatching a copy for myself. Thankfully I wasn't disappointed.
The story n
Brandon O'Neill
This is a summer read I didn't think I'd like too much since it involves puzzles (word, number, what have you) and I'm not a big puzzling fan. I don't even like Wheel of Fortune. I'm more of a Jeopardy! trivia type guy. There are kids who will and do love this and this book is for them! A mystery, which is full of puzzles to work out (all the answers are provided in the back, so you can read it straight through or pause for a while and work in the puzzles). The sequel is out and is on order.
Erica Handley
One of my favorite video games is Professor Layton and the Curious Village. I haven't found any other game like that and I was so happy when I discovered these books. They remind me a lot of games in the fact that you are on a discovery while you solve puzzles. The book is great even if you do not solve the puzzles but the puzzles give you a little extra twist. There are not very many books like this and it is a great addition to the juvenile fiction genre.
I love puzzles and mysteries! Some of my favorite books are Encyclopedia Brown (the OLD ones are the best!), Sherlock Holmes, Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys.... and now Winston Breen. I didn't realize this was a series until I just added this to my read shelf. I'll be looking for the other two soon and can't wait.
Winston loves puzzles! He can look at almost anthing and make it into a puzzle. He even made his sisters last birthday prensent a puzzle. This year she gets a little suspicious on her birthday when winston gives her her birthday prenset. Kate's present his a small box though Winston insists there is no hidden puzzle she won;t let in. She fells around in the box to find a secret compartment with wooden strips with random letters on them. Winston and kae agreed t share the puzzle. One day at a bas ...more
Winston loves puzzles--solving them and creating them. As far back as he can remember, he's been doing all types of puzzles. In fact, the first puzzle we receive in the book is one he made up using a scrap of wrapping paper from his sister's birthday (Berlin includes answers at the back of the book). The bulk of the story revolves around what Winston gives his sister Katie for her birthday--a unique wooden box which has a false bottom (discovered by Katie) and four puzzle pieces hidden inside. E ...more
Eugene S.
The Puzzling World of Winston Breen
By Eric Berlin
240 pages

Winston Breen is a puzzle lover. One day, when he buys a box for his sister, Winston finds four wooden peices with words written on them. Winston couldn't figure out what the words mean't. He later finds out that some other people also have four wooden peices. They already knew that with all of the peices combined would tell them where the buried treasure would be. So Winston joins a group of people and try to find treasure. But someone
I enjoyed The Puzzling World of Winston Breen. The main story revolves around Winston (about 11-12yrs old) who loves solving puzzles of all kinds. He purchases an antique keepsake box for his 10-year-old sister Katie. When she opens the gift Katie discovers a secret compartment containing four puzzle pieces. Winston and his sister are drawn into a puzzle which becomes a real-life treasure hunt.

They must search for a treasure along with several other adults (and some help from Winston’s two best
Move over Encyclopedia Brown there is a new detective on the block, Winston Breen puzzle genius.

Winston Breen is a 12 year old puzzle aficionado. He breathes, eats, and sleeps puzzles. He sees puzzles in the oddest places like on a piece of wrapping paper or on a pizza. Oddly enough the biggest puzzle he has ever come across is one that he did not know was there.

Winston buys a last minute birthday gift for his 10 year old sister at his favorite store, Penrose’s Curio Shop. Used to his puzzling
Abby Johnson
Perfect for fans of The Westing Game or Chasing Vermeer, this mystery story is all about puzzles. Winston Breen is a young puzzle enthusiast. He's always looking for puzzles in the world around him and exchanging puzzles with his friends. So when he gives his sister Katie a wooden box for her birthday and she finds four wooden sticks with random words on them hidden in the box's false bottom, everyone has a hard time believing that Winston didn't leave that puzzle there for her. The fact is, he ...more
Winston Breen loves puzzles...any and all kinds of puzzles! He loves them so much, he gives presents that require solving puzzles to find them. Unfortunately, his family does not share in his enthusiam. So, when his kid sister, Katie's birthday rolls around, he decides to merely give her a present. He finds a beautifully carved decorative box at a secondhand store to put 'girly things' into. Katie's puzzled, 'where's the puzzle?' she wants to know. Lo and behold, she finds one, even though Winst ...more
Dixie A.
If you like puzzles, I recommend reading The Gollywhopper Games instead. The games in that story have their solutions immediately after the puzzles and don't require fine detail lacking in the ebook or paper and pencil, which this book does. Also that book is more exciting than this one.

A slow, step-by-step treasure hunt with miscellaneous puzzles along the way. I counted a total of two plot twists, and the characters were mostly cardboard.

The puzzles ranged from somewhat easy to challenging, wi
I thoroughly enjoyed this treasure hunt caper, despite being horrible at puzzles! I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that I couldn't figure out the answers to all the puzzles in the book, but that didn't take away from how much fun it was to read. Kids who enjoy puzzles and mysteries will enjoy this book. Highly recommend. Kudos to Eric Berlin on his first novel.

My only criticism is that technology doesn't really play a role in finding the answers to the puzzles. When the characters are sitting a
Jun 24, 2010 Ilona added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Linda Brough
Even though this book is for young readers ages 10-14, I read it so I could talk to my grandson about it when he read it. The story kept my attention and I enjoyed the puzzles that were scattered throughout the book. It was a good story, with nothing inappropriate in the plot. It was creative. If you or your children or grandchildren like puzzles then this is a great book. You could even read it aloud for a summer afternoon activity.
Lots of fun puzzles and an exciting mystery make this a wonderful book for 3rd-6th graders. While in other books the characters are on a race to solve many puzzles to win a prize, in this book there is mainly one big puzzle and along the way little puzzles thrown in randomly.

Fun story and puzzles, but it's no Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library. =)
Very good book, I recommend for any age, and gender, i highly injured this trilogy, it had lots of action, and i loved how the author shaped the book itself, in my opinion, you will never get bored of this book. I first found out of the trilogy when I was 9, and have continued to read it till now, and im 11 now, 12 in a few months.
I immediately liked the main character, Winston Breen. It was fun for me to do the puzzles, because I'm sort of like Winston. Most of the puzzles don't have to do with the plot, they're just fun and challenging and help you think logically. It helps you see that there are puzzles everywhere! These puzzles are worked into the book but you don't have to stop and solve them right away if you want to keep reading; it won't give the answer away. There are answers, though, at the back of the book. Som ...more
The Puzzling World of Winston Breen by Eric Berlin is about puzzle, puzzles, and more puzzles. Winston is a puzzle fanatic, and when his sister finds puzzle pieces in a secret compartment in her birthday gift, they are sent on a wild treasure hunt having to do with the town librarian, wooden strips, and of course puzzles! But finding the treasure is the biggest problem right now. Someone has been threatening the librarian and wants the treasure. Winston must help solve the puzzles and figure out ...more
Kids will love this book-probably from 3rd grade on. Spoiler coming . . . Winston's parents really annoyed me because I thought they were very nonchalant about sending their two children off on a potentially dangerous treasure hunt with a group of strangers. In the end when the librarian apologized for putting the kids in danger the mom simply says no problem!????? That didn't sit so well with me. Also, all the puzzles really interrupted my reading. The idea is you will come back and do them, bu ...more
I loved this book! The main character is a boy who loves to solve puzzles (middle school I think)...well, this one puzzle takes him & his friends on a treasure hunt...there are puzzles in the book for the reader to solve themselves, or if they are like me, you can flip to page 214 and find the the beginning of the book they even give you a website that you can go do and print the puzzles out so that you can write on them (instead of writing in the book) to solve was so ...more
Winston has always loved puzzles of any kind—-he’ll even look for them in the patterns on discarded wrapping paper or the slices of a pizza. When he and his sister join up with the town librarian and a couple of professional treasure hunters to try to solve the treasure hunt puzzle left by the town’s founder, though, Winston gets a little more than he bargained for.

This was a fun book, reminiscent of Anderson’s 'The Last Treasure,' and kids who like puzzles will gobble it up. It’s full of the pu
Here’s a puzzle. [Show sample puzzle, p. 42 or other] This is a puzzle that Winston Breen's friend created for him. Winston is a boy who loves puzzles -- both creating and solving them. For his sister’s birthday he gives her a box. She knows her brother loves puzzles, so she’s sure there’s something more to this gift than just a plain empty box. Maybe a clue to her real present? Winston swears that the gift is the box, but with her tinkering, his sister does discover something else: mysterious s ...more
Jul 15, 2015 Sunday added it
Shelves: xown, goodreads
I picked this up because I'm reading to 5th graders at a local school. I wanted to read them something GOOD, and this story has a lot of puzzles to do along the way. I'm not sure if it has enough read-aloud zazz, but I'll read it through.
I should feel ashamed for reading young adult fiction, but how can I when all the books are so good?! This one was so much fun I immediately recommended to my cousin for her kids. While I'm not sure how many kids are as puzzle minded as Winston, the brain teasers in here are just as challenging for adults I think, and it's fun to have the option of stopping reading to do a little game anyway. I just finished the Westing Game before this one and while that was funnier and harder overall, this one ...more
really fun book with a mystery/treasure hunt and puzzling clues along the way. Lot of fun brainteasers are interspersed throughout that you can try to solve, but just in case, the answers are in the back. Fun to read!
Mr. Steve
I felt as though this was a good mystery, in an interesting format with all of the puzzles. It would be an easy book to book talk and there are probably 5 or 10 kids right off the bat that I know would really like this book.

From a library standpoint, the issue I have with the book is that there are several instances throughout where the reader is encouraged to complete a puzzle. Some of the puzzles are to solve on scrap pieces of paper but others - such as crosswords - would encourage the reade
The book had a good plot and was very engaging. My only problem was that most of the puzzles, exclusing the ones on the wooden strips, were thrown out at random. Overall, a great read!
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Deadlines... 1 7 Nov 17, 2011 12:16PM  
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Other Books in the Series

The Puzzling World of Winston Breen (3 books)
  • The Potato Chip Puzzles (The Puzzling World of Winston Breen #2)
  • The Puzzler's Mansion (The Puzzling World of Winston Breen #3)

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