The Potato Chip Puzzles: The Puzzling World of Winston Breen

The Potato Chip Puzzles: The Puzzling World of Winston Breen

4.0 34
by Eric Berlin
     
 

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When a local potato chip tycoon invites area kids to an all-day puzzle hunt, Winston Breen is psyched. But it turns out the day is not all fun and games. Their teacher is being overly competitive, the puzzles are hard (even for Winston), and someone in the contest is playing dirty in order to win the fifty-thousand-dollar grand prize! Trying to stop the mystery… See more details below

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Overview

When a local potato chip tycoon invites area kids to an all-day puzzle hunt, Winston Breen is psyched. But it turns out the day is not all fun and games. Their teacher is being overly competitive, the puzzles are hard (even for Winston), and someone in the contest is playing dirty in order to win the fifty-thousand-dollar grand prize! Trying to stop the mystery cheater before it’s too late takes an already tough challenge to a whole new level. . . .

Perfect for fans of The Westing Game, exciting mysteries, and, of course, puzzles!

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"When a local snack-food manufacturer creates a puzzle contest to benefit a school, Winston Breen and his two best friends represent their middle school, solving his six elaborate puzzles and an unexpected seventh: exposing a cheater. Like its predecessor, this second adventure in The Puzzling World of Winston Breen has a number of extra puzzles included in the narrative and more at the end, along with the answers. . . . Suspenseful." -Kirkus Reviews
Booklist
. . . another delight for hardcore puzzle gamers.
VOYA - Kevin Beach
The twelve-year-old treasure-hunter from The Puzzling World of Winston Breen (G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2007/VOYA February 2008) returns for another race against the clock. This time Winston and his two friends represent their junior high school in a legitimate puzzle competition sponsored by the eccentric owner of a local snack food company. The boys' teacher, Mr. Garvey, is perhaps overly determined to win the $50,000 prize for their school. As the puzzle teams scurry around town, tracking clues and solving riddles, some are soon hampered by a secret saboteur that they suspect must be connected to one of the competing teams. The clever contest puzzles are included for the reader to work on along with a few Winston invents along the way. Answers are provided in the back of the book for those who are impatient or need help. The flat tires, moved signs, and stolen equipment quickly make everyone suspicious of everyone else and many likely suspects appear in the plot. By the conclusion, Winston is concerned about Mr. Garvey's sense of fair play, and the two eventually find they must choose between doing what is right or winning. The breakneck pace of the first book is renewed here but with a bit more danger. The plot and puzzles are still reasonable and suitable for the upper elementary/middle school reader. Winston is a likeable hero and his story is entertaining and presents a moral about good sportsmanship. Those who have read the first book will surely want to read this one as well. Reviewer: Kevin Beach
Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Eric Berlin's sequel to The Puzzling World of Winston Breen finds our hero and his pals, Mal and Jake, on another puzzling quest. This time they must win an all day word-gaming scavenger hunt sponsored by Dmitri Simon, the local potato chip king. Given Winston's genius, the results ought to be in the bag, right? Unfortunately, the event is school sponsored, and the guys are saddled with math teacher Mr. Garvey (a man of little imagination and less wit) as chaperone, not to mention the antics of fanatics from competing schools—all anxious to win the $50,000 prize. The modest amount of skullduggery invested in the plot does help but unless the reader is truly a puzzle person, having the action stop every few pages for the insertion of yet another rebus or math game does crimp the story. Alternately, if one approaches the book as a set of puzzles with story attached, it becomes considerably more successful. Solutions and additional puzzles may be found in the back matter. Reviewer: Kathleen Karr
School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—The whiz kid from The Puzzling World of Winston Breen (Putnam, 2007) returns to reason through his second mystery. Winston and his two friends, Mal and Jake, are sent to represent Walter Fredericks Junior High in a daylong puzzle competition sponsored by the eccentric owner of Simon's Snack Foods. Their teacher, Mr. Garvey, is determined to win the $50,000 prize for their school and constantly chides the boys to take the day seriously. As Winston's group scrambles around town tracking clues and solving riddles, they are waylaid by a saboteur they suspect is connected to one of the competing schools. They also encounter ethical questions: Is it okay to bend the rules to win? In the end, Winston and Mr. Garvey face a moral dilemma and emerge with a better understanding of one another. Berlin refreshes traditional themes, including the importance of good sportsmanship, with oodles of mind-bogglers for readers' enjoyment. While some puzzles are integral to the plot, others can be solved at a later point (an answer key and additional puzzles are appended). The interlocking mystery contains all the information needed for its unraveling. The subplots are well integrated and the dialogue is snappy. Suggest this fine brainteaser to fans of Siobhan Dowd's The London Eye Mystery (Random, 2008) or Trenton Lee Stewart's The Mysterious Benedict Society (Little, Brown, 2007).—Caitlin Augusta, The Darien Library, CT
Kirkus Reviews
When a local snack-food manufacturer creates a puzzle contest to benefit a school, Winston Breen and his two best friends represent their middle school, solving his six elaborate puzzles and an unexpected seventh: exposing a cheater. Like its predecessor, this second adventure in The Puzzling World of Winston Breen has a number of extra puzzles included in the narrative and more at the end, along with the answers. And as before, there is a strong thematic emphasis on cooperation as the boys cope with adults who seem to value winning over good sportsmanship. The cheater's actions introduce surprising violence into an otherwise wholesome world. The puzzles mostly involve numbers or letters and vary in difficulty; some will be quite challenging to puzzle-loving readers, as they were to Winston and his friends. The pace is suspenseful but allows for pauses for problem-solving. The joy for both contestants and readers of this brain-teasing mystery will be in the process. (Mystery. 9-12)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780142416372
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
05/13/2010
Series:
Puzzling World Winston Breen Series
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
241,472
Product dimensions:
7.94(w) x 5.14(h) x 0.71(d)
Lexile:
650L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"When a local snack-food manufacturer creates a puzzle contest to benefit a school, Winston Breen and his two best friends represent their middle school, solving his six elaborate puzzles and an unexpected seventh: exposing a cheater. Like its predecessor, this second adventure in The Puzzling World of Winston Breen has a number of extra puzzles included in the narrative and more at the end, along with the answers. . . . Suspenseful." -Kirkus Reviews

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