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Book Scavenger

(Book Scavenger #1)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  12,743 ratings  ·  1,870 reviews
A hidden book. A found cipher. A game begins . . . .

Twelve-year-old Emily is on the move again. Her family is relocating to San Francisco, home of her literary idol: Garrison Griswold, creator of the online sensation Book Scavenger, a game where books are hidden all over the country and clues to find them are revealed through puzzles. But Emily soon learns that Griswold ha
Hardcover, 354 pages
Published June 2nd 2015 by Christy Ottaviano Books (Henry Holt and Co.)
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Jennifer Bertman I totally agree with Shannon's response. (And so glad you and your 4th grader enjoyed it, Shannon!) I think 11 or 12 is a perfect age for Book Scaveng…moreI totally agree with Shannon's response. (And so glad you and your 4th grader enjoyed it, Shannon!) I think 11 or 12 is a perfect age for Book Scavenger. Hope your daughter enjoys it!(less)
Leah I think this book would be good for ages 9-14, but most importantly, for a reader who likes puzzles. The book has a big emphasis on solving puzzles in…moreI think this book would be good for ages 9-14, but most importantly, for a reader who likes puzzles. The book has a big emphasis on solving puzzles in order to play the Book Scavenger game, and the characters use coded messages to communicate and codes become part of a school project as well.(less)

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Average rating 4.17  · 
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Jennifer Bertman
Jul 22, 2014 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I love this book! Disclaimer: I also wrote this book. :)

Advance copies of Book Scavenger are being hidden around the US. Join in the game here:
Emily May
Feb 11, 2015 added it
Shelves: childrens, 2015

This is a middle grade novel about a book-lover called EMILY and "a game where books are hidden all over the country and clues to find them are revealed through puzzles."

Why am I not 12 years old anymore!?

i don't really read enough middle grade to know how this book stacks up against others written for that age range; i'm a middle grade tourist who only pops in when i come across a book that's either so magnificently written that it carves out a little bed in my heart (Rooftoppers) or when it's about baby booknerds or baby chefs or cats having adventures or something else that would have caught my eye when i was in that 8-12 age range, so long ago.

this falls into that second category. it's not a
Lisa Vegan
Had I read this book when I was 9-12 I think I would have given it 5 stars. The children’s mysteries available to me then were nowhere near as good, and none that I can remember took place in San Francisco.

This story is great for both boys and girls, and will likely also be appealing to many reluctant readers. Even though this is a children’s book I think many older people (13 and all the way up) can also enjoy it. I particularly loved the San Francisco setting and that this is a book about boo
C.  (friends, please call me by name)
I leaped when a friend bought “Book Scavenger” for me this Christmas! Demographics are irrelevant if authors stick to mysteriousness and discovery! We do not need puzzles in the technical sense, as long as characters are answering intrigue. As a girl who is not good at math or sports, I revel in the motivating, equalizing “Mr. Lemoncello” series; rewarding all kinds of efforts. A person great at cryptograms does not lord it over others. Repetition can grow discouraging and boring. Ask the creati ...more
Vanessa J.
May 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015, children
This book is my dream book from my early years: It’s about a girl – Emily – who loves books. There is a game – Book Scavenger – around the US that consists in hiding books and finding them through clues. There are ciphers and cryptograms, and it’s about books! See why it’s everything a book lover might want?

The game itself is silly; I mean, they hide the books in public places, so how the hell do they manage to prevent people who don’t play Book Scavenger from finding and keeping the books? It’s
Rashika (is tired)
***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

This book is basically everything past Rashika would have wanted from a book and one present Rashika adores.

The past couple of middle grade novels that I had read were great but there seemed to be something missing. I figured that could have been the result of me not being the intended audience but this  book reminded me that it doesn't matter who the reader is, a book can be enjoyed by a reader of any age.

I know I always say that my favori
Oct 29, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I normally do not rate DNF books, but since there was a very specific reason I didn't finish this book, I felt like my rating was justified.

Review ~

Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
Did Not Finish
1 of 5 stars
368 page Kindle book

I received this book from NetGalley for my honest review.

It's a sad time that I write my first DNF review.

I wanted to LOVE Book Scavenger. It's my kind of book. Puzzles and clues and a scavenger hunt?! This was (I thought) right down my alley. Even as a 37 yr
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-hearts
Not having kids of my own, I judge these books based on how I would have enjoyed them as a kid. If I still had my spiral notebook where I kept track of my many Nancy Drew and Sweet Valley High books, I would have chosen the fuschia color from my multi-ink click pen and drawn in rounded script the title of the book followed by five shakily drawn stars (By the way, I still haven't mastered the art of a perfect star shape).

Emily Crane's parents have vowed to live in all fifty states. This means Emi
Ms. Yingling
Nov 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Emily isn't too thrilled about moving yet again, but she's used to it. Her parents are both able to work from home wherever they are, and they are gathering material for their book 50 Homes in 50 States by moving about once a year. Emily is excited about moving to San Francisco, though, because it is the home of Garrison Griswold, the founder of the Book Scavenger Game. It is helpful that her new neighbor, James, is also a fan of puzzles and is able to help
My inner 11-12 year old self was squealing with joy when I was reading this book. It was a fabulous story that made me instantly sad, no one wrote this when I was a tween.
Paige  Bookdragon
I love the idea of Book Scavenger simply because if I found a hidden book I'm sure as fuck that I would take it, fairness be damned.

I mean, FREE BOOKS dude. Won't that be awesome?

Anyway,Book Scavenger is fun read even though I grew a bit tired in the middle. I find it quite long and I think there's some things that should be omitted to make the story fast paced and thrilling.

The story is about Emily and James in a one of a kind adventure consisting a weird book and some hooligans who were after
Scottsdale Public Library
This book was extremely entertaining and engaging. If you enjoy puzzles, codes and ciphers, this book will put you in your happy place. Think Geocaching for books, with a little extra puzzle and mystery, then you have Book Scavenger! – Jennifer K.
May 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Puzzles, Mystery, Ciphers, Books about Books
Shelves: mystery
Originally posted at Log Cabin Library

I absolutely adored Book Scavenger, it was such fun to read. Everything from the authors note where Bertman lists the inspirations for Book Scavenger (which is a combination of books, movies, Geocaching, cipher's and the website To the setting of San Francisco filled with various historical facts and figures that make for an interesting plot. Plus there is a nice mystery that sort of involves Edgar Allen Poe. I enjoyed all the characters
Jul 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade, arc
This book has instantly become one of my all-time middle-grade favorites. It has mystery, humor, wonderful characters and friendships, fascinating puzzles, tantalizing literary references, and a perfectly-realized San Francisco setting. I really think that this is a book that kid and adult readers will enjoy in equal measure, making it a great choice for family or classroom reading.

In short, I loved everything about Book Scavenger, and am so excited that Emily and James's adventures will continu
Kaytee Cobb
Omg I loved this so much. It was smart and engaging and full of bookish enthusiasm and exactly what I want from my middle grade fiction. Also, I want to actually play book scavenger in real life, so if someone could make that happen, that would be great. I absolutely plan to pick up book #2 in the series and see where we go next with Emily and James.
Nov 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
Oh my gosh, I loved this book. This is one of those rare books adults can enjoy just as much as the middle grade readers who are its target audience. It's a good story, but it is also well-written with bits of literary history and descriptions of various ciphers and codes. It is just so much fun. The author's note at the end tells the reader a bit about the book's background. Ms. Bertman grew up in San Francisco, the setting for the book, so I felt her description of the city must be pretty accu ...more
Jul 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
I love puzzle books, where characters attempt to follow clues to solve a mystery. It's especially fun in the middle grade stories because kids can be so resourceful and there's no romance to get in the way. This has an added twist of a scavenger hunt for books, a game that sounds like so much fun and can it be a real thing please??

Emily, James, and Matthew are a fun trio and I especially enjoyed seeing the siblings bond. I am definitely not savvy enough to figure out their ciphers, but I had a
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It was a great book. I recommend it to everyone. It sends a message that anyone can do great things. And also, Ms. Taake hasn't read it yet, so be sure to read it before she does! :) ...more
Suad Shamma
Oct 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, 2015, favourites
This one's a favourite for sure! Reading the synopsis I knew the book sounded interesting, but it turned out to be an absolute treasure. I devoured it in a matter of hours and was very sad to see the end of it and even sadder to realize that this is the author's first and only book so far!

Emily is an avid reader but also an avid member of the Book Scavenger game founded by Garrison Griswold. She is working up the ranks in the game, with the aim to achieve the highest detective status. This invol
Aug 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Just ok. I really thought it was a mash-up of Westing Game, Lemoncello, Mysterious Benedict, and not as good as the best aspects of those.

Not to mention, I'm actually a member of Bookcrossing. And out of the several thousands of books I've released in the wild, I've gotten reports back on less than 5%. Little Free Libraries are another neat idea that don't seem all that effective irl, either. Geocaching, now, that's interesting... there's a bit more community excitement there. Now in the author
Ms. B
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, mhl, mystery, childrens
What a lark, how Emily and James solve a treasure hunt where the clues are found within books in the city of San Francisco is a lot of fun. More books in the series = more bookish treasure hunts and puzzles to solve.
Feb 12, 2015 marked it as lost-interest
Shelves: to-buy, middle-grade
I don't care how old I am, this book sounds amazing, I'm reading it :) ...more
Luisa Knight
I really enjoyed this! I think the idea is a fun one and you learn a bit about books, authors, codes and ciphers, and San Francisco bookstores. The hunt also includes a mystery, and with bad guys on the kids heels, you’ll be sure to keep turning pages until you’re through.

Parents, a couple things to note: the older brother has a mohawk-thing going on with his hair, the back drop of the story is Halloween, the two main kids get into a fight, and the daughter is disrespectful to the parent’s wishe
Carol Royce Owen
Apr 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Got to read the ARC of this book and absolutely loved the idea of it. The story is of a game created by Garrison Griswold, publisher of the Bayside Press, called Book Scavenger. In the game, participants hid books throughout the country, leaving clues about the locations by registering them on line. Participants would also search for books that others have hidden by using the clues. Once found the participant would earn points that would move them up the ranks from Encyclopedia Brown to Nancy Dr ...more
Mar 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-books
I received a free copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Scavenger is a middle grade adventure book about a girl called Emily who moves to San Francisco with her parents - the city her biggest idol lives in: Garrison Griswold, creator of the legendary game Book Scavenger. And Emily is a passionate book scavenger - she loves to solve the riddles leading to the discovery of the hiding places of books. However, Griswold is attacked and in a coma, and Emily a
Jeff Raymond
Far be it from me to criticize a book that embraces and celebrates the love of reading, but I'm not entirely sure this one is it (and i say this while, at the time of this writing, having not yet read Mr Lemoncello's Library). A book that sort of presents itself as the Willy Wonka of books about books, it's not quite light-hearted or fun enough to hold that mantle, nor whimsical enough to allow for the comparisons.

The book is about some kids obsessed with Book Scavenging, a game about finding an
Amélie Boucher
Jan 30, 2021 rated it it was ok
I'm so sad. This had all of my buzzwords. Books. Puzzles & games. Mystery. Scavenger hunt. But unfortunately, this didn't live up to my expectations.

Despite the concept of this book sounding amazing, I just couldn't enjoy the story. The writing fell flat, the characters were unidimensional, and I just couldn't find myself invested in the story. Even when the stakes were high, I found myself not caring about the outcome of the story. I quite frankly didn't care about how things ended for our char
Laure Porché
Sep 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hachette, favorites
I absolutely loved it! A very good middle school book, Emily and James are wonderful heroes, and please tell me the publisher of this will launch a real book scavenger website as PR? I would love to play that game, as Book Crossing is kind of random and lack motivational value. I want to be a book scavenger too ! :)
This is THE book to read if you love puzzles, books and scavenger hunts. The book is filled with fun riddles/puzzles, the scavenger hunt is delightful and it will make you want to be there and there is a LOT of talk about books.

I do wish we had such events in real life (scavenger hunts and other book events), or such a site as the site mentioned in this book. It does sound terribly exciting, to be able to hide and find books, to make up riddles, to track your book as it starts its exciting journ
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Bookcrossers: books about bookcrossing and related activities 1 20 Aug 28, 2018 11:29AM  

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Jennifer Chambliss Bertman is the New York Times bestselling author of the Book Scavenger series (Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt/Macmillan). Book Scavenger is a New York Times bestseller, an Indie Next Kids’ Top Ten Pick, a Banks Street College Best Book of the Year, an Amazon Best Book of the Year, an NCTE Notable Children's Book, and has been nominated for 18 state award lists. The Unbreakab ...more

Other books in the series

Book Scavenger (3 books)
  • The Unbreakable Code (Book Scavenger, #2)
  • The Alcatraz Escape (Book Scavenger, #3)

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