Calder, Petra and Tommy (Chasing Vermeer, The Wright 3) are back with another puzzling art mystery. Now in 7th grade, the three go with their class to see an exhibit of Alexander Calder’s mobiles at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Shortly after the field trip, Calder and his Dad take a trip to England and stay in a tiny village well known for its giant garden maze. The maze is life-size, and easy to get lost in, like the maze in the last challenge in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. To Calder’s surprise, the village also has a newly installed Alexander Calder sculpture in the town square. Many people living in the village are angry about the new sculpture, some villagers even seem angry at Calder for sharing the artist’s name. The anger turns to fear, however, when the sculpture, and Calder, both disappear without a trace. Petra and Tommy are flown to England to try to help Calder’s dad and the police figure out what happened to Calder. Is he lost in the maze, or something worse? Try to solve the puzzle and find the clues with Tommy and Petra. The illustrator hid puzzles in the pictures again – see if you can solve those too! Author: Blue Balliett Illustrator: Brett Helquist
“Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?” When this unusual ad appears in the newspaper, lots of children show up to take a series of mysterious tests, but just four succeed: brilliant orphan Reynie, Sticky (everything he sees, hears or reads…sticks), Kate (with her bucket of tools) and tiny, brilliant Constance. The children learn that an evil genius is secretly broadcasting subliminal messages to the world and it is up to them to stop him. There are clues to follow and puzzles to solve and codes to understand. They have no choice but to turn to each other. No magic, just smart kid power and a lot of heart. Author: Trenton Lee Stewart
The Mysterious Benedict Society Web Comic Used With Permission:
@bookblrb: Four peculiar kids made it through the test. Now they’re the world’s last hope.
Don’t miss the Society’s other adventures..and try Kiki Strike: Five delinquent Girl Scouts, a million hungry rats, one secret city beneath Manhattan, and a butt-kicking girl superspy – that’s Kiki Strike!
If you want to really challenge yourself try out the CIA Break the Code website. You can choose from several code games to see if you qualify to be an ace code maker and breaker.
In the bonus book The Mysterious Benedict Society, the kids use morse code. Morse code is a code in which dots and dashes are used to represent the letters of the alphabet. The dots and dashes can be transmitted over a telegraph or even by turning a light on and off and the right intervals. Try out The Benedict Society’s morse code matching game and then if you think you’re REALLY good try CSS Sam Operation Dit Dah. THAT one is hard. If any of you can do it, let me know. I’ll be impressed.
Xander and Xena Holmes are spending a year in London with their family. While the kids are sitting on the steps of their hotel, a stranger passes by, presses a paper into Xena’s hand and says, “it fades fast.” The paper says “…I speak for the whole Society for the Preservation of Famous Detectives (SPFD) when I say that we are thrilled beyond words to welcome you to England, the home of your ancestors.” The kids manage to read the rest of the note (which tells them about a meeting place and a password) before the ink fades and the paper is left blank.
Not kids to pass up a mystery, they head to the meeting place, a neighborhood pub, and take a chance revealing the password to a waitress. The waitress freezes, startled, and then leads the kids to a back room…and locks them in! What have they gotten themselves into? The locked room is really a doorway into the SPFD. The kids discover that Sherlock Holmes is their great-great-great grandfather and they are given a casebook of his unsolved cases. The cases are old, the book contains 100-year-old secrets. Are the mysteries too old to solve? Not for the descendents of Mr. Sherlock Holmes, the worlds greatest detective. Author: Tracy Barrett
And if you like this one, try #2: The Sherlock Files The Beast of Blackslope. In this one Xander and Xena are investigating a bigfoot kind of beast terrorizing a village again after being absent for several years. Why is the beast back?