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

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,129 Ratings  ·  207 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 SelznickEncyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective by Donald J. SobolHarriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Best Mysteries for Young Readers
43rd out of 197 books — 307 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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Apr 20, 2010 Pandora rated it it was ok
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
Feb 29, 2016 Vismay rated it it was ok
Book Review
The book The Puzzling World of Winston Breen by Eric Berlin is an okay book. I would give it a 2 star because I felt like I got a little lost/ bored. I got bored because all the author would talk about is how Winston could solve puzzles, but for some reason he got stumped on this one. This book didn't keep me entertained the whole way. I have to admit, in the first 4-5 chapters I was hooked, but after that it was an uphill battle just to open the book. It got so boring because all the
Feb 29, 2016 Mason rated it really liked it
I believe the book The Puzzling World of Winston Breen which is a mysterious suspense novel by Eric Berlin should be rated 4 out of 5 stars because the book was a little childish. I also believe that parts of the story are kind of ridiculous. The main character in the book is Winston he is a 12 year old that loves solving puzzles. He has never seen a puzzle that stumped him until his sister Katie’s birthday. He bought her a box and she finds a secret compartment in it. It has 4 wooden tiles in i ...more
Tremendously engaging young adult mystery that contains quirkiness that keeps you turning the pages.
Aiden Blackburn
Mar 01, 2016 Aiden Blackburn rated it liked it
The book I read for my book club was The Puzzling World of Winston Breen by Eric Berlin. It was a suspenseful mystery novel. This book made me feel like I wanted to keep reading, you can’t stop because something good might happen next. This book was a little below grade level, but still eligible and a great book. The author’s style was he used dialogue throughout the whole story with characters, and imagery. An example of imagery is when Winston walked into the library, and the librarian saw his ...more
Mar 01, 2016 Lukas rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aiden Lippert
Mar 01, 2016 Aiden Lippert rated it really liked it
Aiden Lippert
Mrs. Wosika
Period 3
The Puzzling World of Winston Breen
“Give me a puzzle to solve. Let me see if I can solve it.”-Eric Berlin. Eric Berlin is the author of the book The Puzzling World of Winston Breen. The Puzzling World of Winston Breen is a mystery genre and adventure genre because no one knows what the puzzle is until the end of the book. It is an adventurous book because Winston Breen is going all around town to figure out new clues to get closer and closer to figuring
Feb 07, 2014 K rated it really liked it
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
Sep 05, 2011 Brandon O'Neill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: youthlit
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
Jun 12, 2009 Erica Handley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
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.
Aug 29, 2012 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
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.
Thomas Gerken
I really enjoyed this book by Eric Berlin. This is a great book as the author does a great job of bringing the characters to life throughout the course of the novel. You are able to follow the characters along a journey with lots of mystery, suspense, and action. It begins when Winston gives a small wooden box to his sister. Little did he know the box would lead both him and his sister on the adventure of a lifetime. The boxes held part of a puzzle leading to a valuable ring worth over 10,000 do ...more
Dec 05, 2015 J.D.Staton rated it really liked it
As an avid puzzle lover, I enjoyed the range and variety of number, letter, word, geometric, and logic challenges incorporated throughout the book. Most were moderate to high, in terms of difficulty - more challenging than I would have expected for a YA audience. While the puzzles were quite enjoyable, the story lacked a lot, in terms of creativity and believability.

Adult siblings who have spent decades estranged from each other are very unlikely to set aside their differences for a potential $1
Feb 04, 2010 splishsplash84 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 18, 2008 Ruhama rated it it was amazing
Shelves: juvenile
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.
Dec 02, 2012 Eugene S. rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 26, 2012 Anthony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 09, 2007 Abby Johnson rated it really liked it
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.
Oct 08, 2014 Dixie A. rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
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
Colin Jimmink
Mar 02, 2016 Colin Jimmink rated it it was ok
The Puzzling World of Winston Breen was an okay book. It was clearly not well thought out when it was written and has the plot of almost every mystery book for kids in history. The outcome was way too predictable for my liking and also it wasn't the most creative idea for a book. For the first few chapters, I was expecting it to all of the sudden speed up the pace and become more of a mystery book but it never did. This book wasn't very good and so I give it two out of five stars.
May 29, 2010 Yoonmee rated it really liked it
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
Jun 05, 2014 Linda Brough rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 02, 2015 Steph rated it really liked it
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. =)
Jan 23, 2016 Sue rated it it was ok
It was such a cute book, perfect for any elementary school/middle school kid who likes puzzles. Sadly, the author has to resort to the "bad guy" holding up a 10- and 12-year-old with a gun then kidnapping the 12-year-old to finish the novel. Really? The desensitization of kids to guns and violent crime is alarming...especially in kid's lit.
Aug 15, 2014 Dinan rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 14, 2010 Diana rated it really liked it
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
Adaline Griffiths
Dec 03, 2015 Adaline Griffiths rated it it was amazing
In the Puzzling World of Winston Breen Winston is a young boy who loves any type of mind games. When he buys an old box he finds a false bottom and inside puzzle pieces with words on them. But what do the words mean? Soon he joins an odd assortment of people to search for treasure. I loved this book! I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.
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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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“Give me a puzzle to solve. Let me see if I can solve it.” 2 likes
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