The Puzzling World of Winston Breen by Eric Berlin, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
The Puzzling World of Winston Breen

The Puzzling World of Winston Breen

4.5 38
by Eric Berlin
     
 

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Winston Breen says the only thing better than discovering a puzzle is stumping someone else with it. But when his sister uncovers mysterious strips of wood with words and letters on them, even Winston himself is stumped. Soon the whole family (and some friends) are caught up in the mystery and off on a scavenger hunt that just may lead to a ring worth thousands of

Overview

Winston Breen says the only thing better than discovering a puzzle is stumping someone else with it. But when his sister uncovers mysterious strips of wood with words and letters on them, even Winston himself is stumped. Soon the whole family (and some friends) are caught up in the mystery and off on a scavenger hunt that just may lead to a ring worth thousands of dollars! Chock-full of puzzles to solve, some tied to the mystery and some not, this treasure hunt will keep readers' brains teased right up to the exciting ending!

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

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This ingenious novel, which conjures up The Westing Game and good old Encyclopedia Brown, peppers a classic treasure-hunt plot with nifty puzzles. . . .Readers both avid and reluctant will surface from this unusual mystery with their hearts pounding.”—Booklist, starred review

“A delightfully clever mystery . . . There is plenty of suspense to engage readers, who are sure to enjoy tackling the brainteasers and word games along the way.”—School Library Journal

Booklist
Readers . . . will surface from this unusual mystery with their hearts pounding and their brains limbered up for more. - Starred review
VOYA
The author creates a very entertaining blend of puzzle solving and mystery writing. Winston, an intelligent adolescent puzzle aficionado and the protagonist in this straightforward story, sets the wheels in motion by purchasing an old box in an antique store as a gift for his sister. A secret compartment reveals the long-lost fourth of a set of clues to the whereabouts of a local founding father's hidden treasure. Two clues are in the hands of somewhat unscrupulous treasure hunters, and the other is held by the town librarian, the last remaining descendant of the deceased. They must cooperate and trust each other as they travel the winding path around town, solving increasingly difficult riddles to find the hidden location of a valuable family heirloom. In a tale reminiscent of Ellen Raskin's The Westing Game (Dutton, 1978), the characters stumble and bumble yet persevere through many unexpected twists and turns to an exciting conclusion. Several puzzles are thrown at the reader throughout the story, some related to the mystery, some not. Most are simple enough to figure out given an open mind and patience. (Answers are provided in the back of the book.) A few seem to be awkwardly inserted but are still entertaining for the avid puzzle devotee. Even the supporting characters are well defined and a narrow ribbon of humor runs throughout the plot and the characters' demeanors. Past readers of Encyclopedia Brown will particularly enjoy this upgrade to the higher elementary, middle school-appropriate reading level. Expect sequels to follow. Reviewer: Kevin Beach
Children's Literature
This very clever book has a solid plot, great characters, mystery, action, and puzzles. Winston Breen is passionate about puzzles. He loves creating them as much as he loves solving them. Winston gives his sister Katie a box for her 10th birthday. Katie thinks Winston is kidding with his gift, and she wonders what kind of a puzzle the box is. Unbeknownst to Winston, the box does have a secret compartment in it. When it is opened by his sister, four slim pieces of wood with lettering on them fall to the floor. Now, this is a real puzzle! Soon, everyone in Winston’s family is trying to solve the mystery of the sticks. Winston’s quest leads him to some very shady and notorious characters, as well as to an old librarian. Readers will love the quest and the characters in this high-action book. An online site is available for readers who want to complete Winston’s puzzles, but do not want to write in their books. Answers are supplied at the end of the book. This is a wonderful addition to any middle school library or upper elementary classroom collection. Reviewer: Sue Reichard
School Library Journal

Gr 4-7 A delightfully clever mystery. Winston Breen loves puzzles and finds them everywhere, including in the antique box he gives his younger sister, Katie, on her birthday. The siblings discover that it has a false bottom containing wooden strips with words and single letters on them. When two somewhat sinister strangers with their own wooden strips arrive looking for Winston, the boy realizes that the only way to crack the mystery is to pool their clues. A group that includes the town librarian, a giant ex-policeman, a young reporter, the two strangers, Winston, and Katie faces dangerous threats, mistrust, decades-old clues, and in-fighting as they set out on what turns out to be a treasure hunt. There is plenty of suspense to engage readers, who are sure to enjoy tackling the brainteasers and word games along the way. (A note sends readers to a Web site to download printable versions of the puzzles. Answers are included at the end of the book.) Recommend this to fans of Ellen Raskin's The Westing Game (Puffin, 1992) and Blue Balliett's Chasing Vermeer (2004) and The Wright 3 (2006, both Scholastic).-Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780142413883
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
04/16/2009
Series:
Puzzling World Winston Breen Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
263,119
Product dimensions:
7.78(w) x 5.12(h) x 0.62(d)
Lexile:
670L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“This ingenious novel, which conjures up The Westing Game and good old Encyclopedia Brown, peppers a classic treasure-hunt plot with nifty puzzles. . . .Readers both avid and reluctant will surface from this unusual mystery with their hearts pounding.”—Booklist, starred review

“A delightfully clever mystery . . . There is plenty of suspense to engage readers, who are sure to enjoy tackling the brainteasers and word games along the way.”—School Library Journal

Meet the Author

Eric Berlin creates puzzles for all ages, from kids to adults (his crosswords appear often in The New York Times). He is a member of the National Puzzlers' League and enjoys creating puzzle events for schools and other groups. He lives in Milford, Connecticut, with his wife and two children.

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