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The Jigsaw Jungle

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  310 ratings  ·  75 reviews
A mysterious treasure hunt helps to heal a broken family in Kristin Levine's first contemporary tale.

Claudia Dalton's father has disappeared. What began as a late night at work has spiraled into a missing persons case - one that's left twelve-year-old Claudia questioning everything she's ever known about her father and their family.
But when she finally gets word from
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published June 19th 2018 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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Jaina Rose
Jun 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: blogged
This review and many like it are available at Read Till Dawn .

I thought this was going to be one of those puzzle adventure books, like The Gollywhopper Games or Mr. Lemoncello's Library. I thought Claudia's father had left behind a whimsical puzzle for her to find him. I wasn't thrilled with the idea that he had completely abandoned his family just to go "think things over," but I thought the focus would be enough on the puzzles that I wouldn't have to think too hard about the iffyness of the
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Very well-written and fun to read. However, the overall premise annoyed me. I get that adults can make mistakes and need to process big life choices, however, to just leave your wife and daughter (Claudia) and then make your daughter go on a treasure hunt to figure out why you left is immature. I couldn't get past it, even if Claudia could. I would have given this 4 stars but i just couldn't. It reeked too much of running away from your problems. It seemed like the only way he would come back ...more
Laura Gardner
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to @PenguinKids for the free book. All opinions are my own.
5/5 and ALL THE STARS for Jigsaw Jungle by @Kristin_Levine_author, which comes out June 19. Preorder your copy now!
Claudia's father has disappeared without a trace. When clues start appearing in the form of puzzle pieces, Claudia assembles a scrapbook to document the treasure hunt she hopes will uncover her father. With the help of her grandfather and a new friend, Claudia must investigate her father's past,
Suzanne Dix
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a really unique story, told as if you were reading a scrapbook which includes letters, movie tickets and receipts from a stop at a cafe. Each page is either a transcript of a conversation, an email exchange or a journal entry. Based on this technique, the book is easy to fly through despite being 350 pages.

The novel is plagued by a horrible cover and a terrible title. This is such a great mystery but it will take a lot of my convincing to get my middle school readers to dive in.

Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really good, recommend to everyone
Dec 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: good, middle-school, e-arc
I don't want to give away too much of the overall plot because it would take away from the mystery of what Claudia and the reader go through. The Jigsaw Jungle is a tender hearted story about family and the how we view our family through rose colored glasses. I loved this novel for middle grade readers because it gives them a glimpse about the trials of being a family and how we navigate those changes.
Leonard Kim
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. It's early September 2018, and SLJ's Heavy Medal discussion will start soon, and people are going to talk about Varian Johnson's The Parker Inheritance. It is my opinion that a book can't really be a Newbery contender if there is another really comparable book out there. (Because if there is, then almost by definition the book isn't "individually distinct.") So when someone starts stumping for The Parker Inheritance, I'm going to have to pull this one out as the comparable book. But ...more
Amber K.
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thank you Penguin Kids for the free book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This book was fantastic! It definitely went where I didn’t think it would go and even though I saw the twist coming, I don’t think kids will. This will give kids 5th grade and up something really interesting to discuss. I would love to hear those discussions because I think they would be fascinating... don’t let this one pass you by. Out June 19th.
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Hard to review this book without giving too much away. How about a page-turning mystery involving a young girl’s dad. They are a family of puzzles. Interesting hybrid text composed of clues she collects and compiles in her scrapbook. A tough topic book that will touch your heart and leave you thinking about Claudia and her family.

Mini spoiler alert: great for conversations around divorce, identity, acceptance and love.
Jordan Henrichs
Sep 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Comparisons to The Parker Inheritance are very appropriate. I found The Jigsaw Jungle to be more engaging than that title because of the puzzle/mystery. This was easier to follow because the mystery was more straight forward. The cast of characters isn't quite as large and the reader doesn't really have anything to solve ahead of the main character Claudia. At least her revelations make sense in the context of the story unfolding though, an issue I had with The Parker Inheritance.

While this
Megan Schmelzer
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Open Book Reviews by Megan Schmelzer

My favorite part of reading is when I find “that book.” You know, the one that hooks you from the first page. The book that keeps you dying to read page-after-page. The book that you hate to finish but can’t stop until you do. Those books are often hard to find, but when you find them, it's so worth it.

The Jigsaw Jungle, by Kristin Levine, was one of “those books” for me.

From the first page of the book, The Jigsaw Jungle, I was hooked.
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. The characters are flawed in nature. But that’s the point isn’t it. Families have problems and issues and aren’t always good at communicating and being with each other. The value this book has is immense though because someone will relate to the story of a parent coming out and how it can throw your whole world sideways. It’s a story of hope and acceptance and overall love. It’s a book that proudly shares that families can be defined in all ...more
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edelweiss
Twelve-year-old Claudia Dalton is good with jigsaw puzzles. She's been doing them with her dad since she was a kid. She understands the pleasure of clicking the pieces right into place, the way the tabs and the pockets fit together perfectly and the frustration of thinking you've found the perfect piece only to have it not fit.

Now she's starting to worry that her family no longer fits together. Her father disappears, and Claudia and her mother are getting very anxious about him. They can't find
Karen Arendt
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed the format of this book- text messages, phone conversations, video transcripts, and some anecdotal remarks to fill out the story. When Claudia's dad disappears she wonders if it is because she didn't go with him to his dad's to watch old movies of the family. But then her dad starts to send her clues. As she pieces together the puzzle, she friends a visiting boy next door, Luis. Through their emerging friendship and her dad's clues, they discover why her dad left. The author's note, if ...more
Sep 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, mock-newbery
One of those books that sheds stars as I go along.

Loved the structure, with emails, receipts, transcripts, etc., presenting the information. Although right off the bat, Claudia mentions "colored tabs" on p. 3 that don't exist, so I wish Levine had left that out. I also wished she hadn't mentioned Kate Chopin's "The Awakening." That gave me pause.

Loved Walter "talking" to his wife and growing as a character. Did NOT like that Jeffery had to set up such a ridiculously elaborate labyrinth of clues
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So one day, 12-year-old Claudia Dalton’s father just up and disappears with nothing but a “working late” email. At first it’s just a minor inconvenience- there’s no adult who can drive her and her friend Kate to the movies. But the next day, when he still hasn’t shown up, Claudia and her mother realize this is serious. They file a missing persons report, but then receive a postcard from him saying that he’s gone to “think things over”. And since it’s not illegal for a man to just wander away ...more
Lauren- The Smile Lines
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to #kidlitexchange for sharing a review copy of this book!
The Jigsaw Jungle —Love this book! This middle grade book is about a girl solving the disappearance of her father through the puzzle pieces he left her to find. I do not want to give too much away because there are some surprises in the book. I love the way the author put the book together in a series of emails, video transcripts, voice recordings, text messages... It is a fast read that touches on many important family issues. I
Valerie McEnroe
When Claudia's dad doesn't come home one night, Claudia is left trying to figure out the why and where. The story plays out through emails, text messages, and video/audio transcripts, which is a writing style I'm seeing more of these days. Claudia communicates with friends, her mom and her grandfather and uses those communications to tell the story.

The bizarre thing, and the reason I'm giving the book one star, is that her father sends her clues through jigsaw pieces, which she must put together
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
The Jigsaw Jungle by Kristin Levine, 354 pages. Putnam (Penguin), 2018. $18.
Content: PG (see spoiler alert below, though)


After the last day of the school year, Claudia, 12, and her mother expected Dad to return home exhausted but happy. But he doesn’t. Instead, he has disappeared. It takes a couple of days, but the police find evidence of him withdrawing money from his bank and heading to the bus station– leaving his wife and daughter devastated, knowing he ran out on them. Now
Kari Healy
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book - all opinions are my own.
Jigsaw Jungle is the perfect book for middle school students to read. Claudia’s dad has disappeared, but he has left behind puzzle pieces with messages on the back that will help Claudia and her grandfather piece together why he has left. This story is filled with artifacts - texts, emails, video transcripts, receipts, awards and other documents that are used to tell the story, which makes the book
The basic premise of the book is that Claudia’s father, Jeff, disappears one night. Some days later, a postcard arrives apologizing and saying he needs a little time to think things through. In the meantime, Claudia’s mother has to go to Switzerland for work, so Claudia has to stay with her grandfather who doesn’t talk much. Claudia and her father have a love of doing puzzles together and after she arrives at her grandfather’s house she receives a cryptic message from her father and a single ...more
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to @kidlitexchange for sharing a review copy of this @JigsawJungle by @KristinSLevine
pub date June 2018.
If you like modern-day epistolary novels - aka books written in emails, text messages video scripts and even receipts (cute!!) this is one for you! Even better - I loved that this was a mystery novel with so much heart.
Claudia Dalton’s dad Jeff is a fun-loving, goofy teacher who loves spending time with his daughter - doing jigsaw puzzles, leaving notes in her lunch box (even
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, children-s
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 12, 2019 rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this book. Without creating a spoiler I will attempt to explain. The writing style and format of the book made for an enjoyable and quick read. The story flow was perfect. I am a jigsaw puzzle lover and the idea of using them to drive the story was genius. Claudia seems real and her questions and emotions ring true. The entire quest was delightful. Here is my problem with this book. Puzzles and treasure hunts are great fun but when you have a very serious and ...more
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was expecting a book similar to Mr Lemoncello's. Library or Book Scavenger but instead got this 'story' told in 'scrapbook' form (think transcripts of texts and home movies, receipts, copies of emails, google map directions and other random things). The puzzle comes in the form of clues sent or set up by 12 year old Claudia's dad who has gone AWOL, without a word, all to lead up to letting her know that he is coming out as gay. The format of the book was especially frustrating and the fact ...more
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
When Claudia's father doesn't come home from work one night, they fear the worst. But police soon determine that he left on his own freewill, which is even harder for Claudia and her mother to understand. As her mother has an upcoming business trip, Claudia goes to stay with her grandfather for a couple weeks. While there, she begins to receive cryptic clues from her father in the form of a treasure hunt. Claudia is determined to find him before her mother comes home, and enlists the help of her ...more
Mar 20, 2019 rated it liked it
/5. This was an interesting audiobook told through texts, phone calls, etc. When Claudia’s father doesn’t come home after a late night after work, she and her mother start trying to figure out where he might have gone. Now a missing persons case, he finally sends a clue to Claudia that he is okay, but just went somewhere to “think things through”. As she tries to track him down, she digs into his past and finds a lot she did not know about him and some things that could change her family as she ...more
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
YA, a fun and creative take on the epistolary novel, consisting of phone and text-message transcripts, recordings, videorecording transcripts in screenplay format, emails, and some diary excerpts that hold things together. The protagonist is 12, her father has disappeared and left a trail of clues, and those clues lead all over DC and its environs; if you're a DC-area resident, you'll enjoy a virtual tour of key landmarks. I know the author and thus knew where the plot was ultimately going, but ...more
Michelle Van Dyke
Jan 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Well written book but unfortunately, the subject matter is a big turn off for me. It was going great for me (despite the fact that the father left the family with not so much as a note saying that he needed to be alone and think!) until 3/4 of the way in when I'm invested in it that the author throws a sexual identity issue in, Hate that! I read children's books because they are a bit protected from the world. I don't have to worry about foul language or moral issues. This book was not for me, ...more
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I would not recommend reading this book aloud like I did, unless you want to hold back an ugly cry for the last 50 pages or so. (It also isn't the best read-aloud format, but whatever, we both still loved it). The puzzle aspect of the book was extra fun for us because we just visited Washington DC a couple of months ago. However, this book goes far beyond the puzzles and gave some great lessons and discussion topics.
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