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Top Secret: A Handbook of Codes, Ciphers and Secret Writing
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Top Secret: A Handbook of Codes, Ciphers and Secret Writing

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  104 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
"The author's upbeat, positive tone is refreshing and his enthusiasm about his topic is contagious." — SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL (starred review)

Pssst! Do you know the difference between a code and a cipher? Can you tell a St. Cyr slide from a Cardano grille? Did you know that the discovery of a substitution cipher caused Mary Queen of Scots to lose her head? Don't look now,
Paperback, 144 pages
Published April 11th 2006 by Candlewick Press (first published April 12th 2004)
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Stacie Alexander
Nov 20, 2014 Stacie Alexander rated it really liked it
Shelves: 508-reference
Janeczko, P. B. (2004). Top secret: A handbook of codes, ciphers, and secret writing. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press.

Citation by: Stacie Alexander

Type of reference: Handbook

Call Number: Ref 652

Content/Scope: This handbook provides instruction on how to use codes, ciphers, and secret writing. It also includes history of the various codes, recipes for secret inks, and puzzles with answers. The book includes a bibliographical reference list and an index. The book covers a wide range of codes from
Nancy O'Toole
Top Secret is a fascinating book about secret codes for kids. The book is divided into three sections. The first focuses on making many different kinds of codes and ciphers. The section section then focuses on the breaking of those codes. The third section focuses on different ways to conceal codes. Paul Janeczko writes in a way that very inviting to children. It's obvious that he shares a great love for codes and cipher and that enthusiasm can be infectious. Every section that introduces a new ...more
Aug 20, 2016 RumBelle rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I read this to get ideas for a program I am doing at the library. It was a wonderful guide to not only the history of codes, but a wide variety of different types of codes and ciphers. Many of them would make excellent additions to my program. Some of the ones I enjoyed learning about were the Rosicrucian and the Playing Card codes. As a book to read itself it was fascinating, I learned a lot about cryptography.
Michelle Moses
Sep 04, 2015 Michelle Moses rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
I'm glad my son brought this book home from the school library for me. It was thoughtful of him and I had an interesting, easy read.
Digest of all types of codes, with practical, easy explanations of how to learn them.

Booklegger, grades 4-6 (Fall 2014)
Aug 16, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
What a fun read! The basics of coding and ciphering are clearly presented, and the bit of history thrown in is most appreciated.
Galion Public Library Teens
Aug 15, 2014 Galion Public Library Teens rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
Review by C.M.: "Good book with codes, ciphers, and secret writing. A lot to use for writing secret messages."
Feb 09, 2009 Kym rated it really liked it
A fun very interesting book, only need about an hour with it and you can encipher and decipher codes with your friends.

My daughter and I had fun using the book cipher method for coded messages.

There are short stories of instances in history where codes and ciphers were used.

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(keyboard cipher used. For every letter I typed, the key stroke to the left was used. To decipher, look at your keyboard and look to the right of each letter. For letters on the far right of the keyboard, wrap to th
May 10, 2016 Ledys rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2016
Very fun and interesting book about codes, with lots of hands-on help in making up one's own codes, as well as facts about famous codes and ciphers in history. I loved it!
Aug 29, 2014 Goose rated it liked it
Sure, it's a book for little kids. It has 14-point font, cartoon illustrations, and easy language, but it also has little bits of history (the interesting kind) and a lot of ciphers to practice with friends. Which is exactly my plan. (I'm coming for you, Jean!)
Sep 05, 2013 Mayrocks rated it really liked it
I found this book very fascinating. it gave me tons of information on codes, ciphers, and stories of how this secret writing helped during times of war. im totally going to use one of those codes with my friends!!
C.E. G
Not interesting enough to read cover to cover, but fun to skim through the different ciphers. Would probably keep a kid busy for a while, or even an adult with an interest in ciphers.
Jun 08, 2007 Liz rated it really liked it
I got a bunch of kid's books on codes and ciphers out of the library, and this was the best one. It's a great introduction and has a really playful style that I liked.
Sep 24, 2008 Christian rated it it was amazing
If I was an english teacher I would share this book with some students because some students might have imaginary minds so they might think they are spies.
Nov 06, 2012 Sara rated it liked it
This book made me want to be a spy or a detective. Those who like to bother people with riddles and secrets you should read this book.
Yeon Jin
May 09, 2013 Yeon Jin rated it really liked it
It was an informational book that was quite fun about encoding mysterious cords that made me feel like I'm special
Feb 11, 2009 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
great rainy day book! full of all sorts of secret codes and fun things to do
Terry Huffman
Oct 28, 2010 Terry Huffman rated it really liked it
this is a good book and so cool to learn all of the cool new ciphers
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so who liked this book 1 3 Oct 21, 2010 09:37AM  
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Paul B. Janeczko is a poet and teacher and has edited more than twenty award-winning poetry anthologies for young people, including STONE BENCH IN AN EMPTY PARK, LOOKING FOR YOUR NAME, SEEING THE BLUE BETWEEN, and A POKE IN THE I, which was an American Library Association Notable Book.
More about Paul B. Janeczko...

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