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|Young fans of Ernie Cline's Ready Player One will love this classic video game inspired mystery filled with elements of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library and From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. <br> <br> What if playing video games was prepping you to solve an incredible real-world puzzle and locate a priceless treasure?<br> <br> Twelve-year-old Ted Gerson has spent most of his summer playing video games. So when his great-uncle dies and bequeaths him the all so-called treasure in his overstuffed junk shop of an apartment, Ted explores it like it's another level to beat. And to his shock, he finds that eccentric Great-Uncle Ted actually has set the place up like a real-life escape-the-room game!<br> <br> Using his specially honed skills, Ted sets off to win the greatest game he's ever played, with help from his friends Caleb and Isabel. Together they discover that Uncle Ted's "treasure" might be exactly that--real gold and jewels found by a Japanese American unit that served in World War II. With each puzzle Ted and his friends solve, they get closer to unraveling the mystery--but someone dangerous is hot on their heels, and he's not about to let them get away with the fortune.<br> <br> Praise for Click Here to Start :<br> <br> " As addictive as your favorite video game. I couldn't put it down. "-Adam Gidwitz, New York Times bestselling author of A Tale Dark and Grimm <br> <br> " Humor, believable characters, and adventure...keeps readers in suspense to the end. A winner for mystery enthusiasts."- Kirkus Reviews <br> <br> " In this clever debut, Markell takes readers on a clue-filled adventure ...[and] maintains an energetic, entertaining balance of character-driven narrative and tricky challenges. "- Publishers Weekly <br> <br> " Markell's highly entertaining debut novel...is a well-paced read with fully realized and likable characters,...[and] should have strong appeal to gamers, fans of video game-based stories, and reluctant readers. "- SLJ <br> <br> "This book will appeal to a wide audience. Readers who enjoyed Schreiber's Game Over , Pete Watson will enjoy the video game component; fans of Fitzgerald's Under the Egg will enjoy reading more about the Monuments Men; detective story aficionados will revel in the inclusion of The Maltese Falcon story. This is a great book to hand to just about any middle grade reader. "-YA Books Central<br> <br> A School Library Guild selection <br> <br> An Amazon Best Books of the Month Selection<br> <br>|
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School Library Journal Review
|Gr 5-8-In Markell's highly entertaining debut novel, 12-year-old Ted; his best friend, Caleb; and new girl Isabel take on a riddle left by Ted's great-uncle. The World War II veteran bequeathed an apartment and all the treasure it contains to Ted. The catch: the treasure is hidden behind a plethora of clues, puzzles, and traps. Ted finds himself in the middle of a real-life "escape-the-room" game (of which he is an expert, thank you very much), and it takes the friends working together to solve it. Things are made all the more dangerous by a villain at their heels. This is a well-paced read with fully realized and likable characters, but it is not without flaws. The author purposefully introduces several uncomfortable racial and ethnic stereotypes concerning Ted's biracial identity (the protagonist is Japanese American and Jewish American). Some stereotypes are explored and offer opportunities for richer discussion, such as the various ways Ted experiences and responds to microaggressions. At other times, Ted himself espouses many tired stereotypes about Asian people. Though the author seems to have made these choices deliberately to spark conversation, some of the lines ("An old Chinese woman passed by and looked down at me. She looked at my Jewish dad, then gripped Mom's arm, leaned in, and crowed, 'Asian blood STRONG!'") and characterizations are jarring and may, without further context for the intended audience, actually serve to subtly reinforce damaging stereotypes rather than destroy them. While the young characters are perfectly relatable, the adults often act irrationally. Additionally, two of Ted's most dangerous decisions-getting in the car with a stranger and melting a breaker in the hospital-are never acknowledged as such. Several deus ex machina moments near the end are too convenient to be believed and betray a lack of respect for the intelligence of middle grade readers. Problems aside, this novel should have strong appeal to gamers, fans of video game-based stories, and reluctant readers. VERDICT Despite some truly funny moments, this is a flawed offering. Consider carefully for middle grade collections.-Taylor Worley, Springfield Public Library, OR © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.|
|Ted meets his great-uncle, also named Ted, as the elder is in the hospital, dying. Uncle Ted's final words to his nephew set young Ted off on a hunt for treasure, even though he's uncertain what the treasure is. The clues are embedded in a video game, and Ted, who loves puzzles, wonders how his uncle managed to design a game that will lead to the prize. The clues keep coming, but there are people willing to do anything to prevent Ted from solving the final puzzle and uncovering the mysterious treasure. Though he has friends on his side, Ted doesn't know whom to trust. What is the secret his late uncle wants him to find? Is the answer tied to Uncle Ted's military service during WWII? Debuting author Markell offers readers the chance to solve the puzzle alongside Ted and his friends, and readers who love locked room mysteries, vintage video games, and red herrings will have a blast. Recommend to fans of Michael D. Beil and Blue Balliett.--Lesesne, Teri Copyright 2016 Booklist|
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