Mega-Fun Interactive Mystery Series!
The Mummy’s Curse
by Penny Warner
Series: The Code Busters Club (Case #4)
Publication Date: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Egmont USA
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Egyptian secrets take center stage in this interactive mystery where boys and girls can solve codes and puzzles right along with the multicultural cast of characters.
Cody, Quinn, Luke, and M.E. love playing around with codes. In fact, they love codes so much they have their own club, with a secret hideout and passwords that change every day.
After learning about steganography, the study of concealed writing, the Code Busters discover that artists have been hiding secret messages in their artwork for centuries.
A clue hunt on a class trip to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum leads the Code Busters to an artifact that doesn’t seem to quite fit with the rest of the collection. Could it be a forgery? The Code Busters code-cracking skills and new knowledge of hieroglyphic messages will help them get to the bottom of this mystery, but they better think fast before the criminal tries to frame them!
On Friday, I began introducing ReadLovers to Penny Warner’s The Code Busters Club series. It’s been super fun reading and reviewing a series from its beginning to its newest release. If you are just joining me now, catch up on the rest of the series by looking at reviews for books one, two, and three. And finally, here we are: Book 4! You know what that means! It’s giveaway time! Check back later today for your chance to win all four books in the series!
Having read the first four book’s in Penny Warner’s The Code Busters Club series, I am happy to announce that Case 4, The Mummy’s Curse, does not disappoint. In fact, with its Egyptology focus, I had more fun with book 4 than any of the preceding titles!
If you’ve just discovered the series by landing upon The Mummy’s Curse on the new release shelf at the bookstore, have no fear. Any book in the series can easily serve as an entry point, since the character dossiers introduce readers to the members of the club. Because the books are more plot centered than character driven, you won’t feel like you’re missing huge chunks of knowledge needed to understand the text. While I encourage you to start at the beginning, you’ll have no less fun if you dive right in and work your way back later. Each title in the series stands alone well, if necessary, and in a children’s book series today, that’s a welcome rarity!
Not surprisingly, the books are inspired by that loveable “grandmother” of all young sleuths, Nancy Drew. In fact, author Penny Warner, who grew up reading the Carolyn Keene classics, loved Nancy so dearly that she wrote a book called The Official Nancy Drew Handbook. The Code Busters Club books have the broad and timeless appeal of that classic series, but with thoroughly modern kids with twenty-first century sensibilities.
The focus on codes serves as a neat twist that makes this series unique. Cody and the rest of the gang are studied in not only old school methods like Morse code and semaphore, but they commonly use improvised methods that involve technology — hidden messages in email and cell phone apps, for instance. It’s only natural that when their latest school learning unit/field trip takes them to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose, California, the kids are inspired by their newly acquired understanding of hieroglyphs to create their own glyphs using special characters found on a computer keyboard. (They wanted to continue to use hieroglyphs for secret communications but realized they’d need their own code set since their classmates are all equipped with decoder cards.)
As with previous stories in the series, The Mummy’s Curse is brimming with interesting facts, including the word steganography and its meaning, information on Egyptian Gods, the mummification process, the eye of Horus, and of course, an introduction to hieroglyphs. Kids will delight in decoding hieroglyphs to reveal ten mummy-focused riddles. And when they read the answers to those riddles, they are sure to giggle and groan, just like the kids from Berkeley Cooperative Middle School. In addition to Egyptology, kids will learn to have a keen eye for detail when the text teaches them a thing or two they may never have noticed in an every day object, the dollar bill. Above all else, kids who pick up a Code Busters Book will have a blast following along with the Code Busters Club as the intelligent and inquisitive foursome encounters and solves mysteries. Readers will be so engrossed that they are sure to feel part of the club! Happily, if they want to make their membership official, kids can do that online at http://www.codebustersclub.com/join-.html !
(Also happily, the puzzle-solving adventure will continue in book five, which promises to be ultra-cool as the kids will travel to Washington, D.C., where they’ll visit the Smithsonian Museum and the International Spy Museum!)
— Dawn Teresa
4.5 of 5 Hearts. Mega-Fun Interactive Mystery Series!
Penny Warner’s award-winning series, The Code Busters Club, is the perfect solution for mystery-loving kids who’ve explored Encyclopedia Brown or Nancy Drew and are looking for not just more titles to read, but books in which they can be active participants! So encourage your own super sleuth to pick up a title, crack the codes, and uncover all the fun hidden inside!
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I would like to thank Egmont USA for providing me a copy of this title. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”