The Secret of the Skeleton Key (The Code Busters Club Series #1)

The Secret of the Skeleton Key (The Code Busters Club Series #1)

4.0 4
by Penny Warner
     
 

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"Readers are active participants . . . and are frequently invited to solve classic forms of code, such as Morse and semaphores. This intriguing tale has vivid characters and such a tantalizing cliffhanger that readers won’t be able to resist cracking the next Code Busters."—Kirkus Reviews
 
Cody, Quinn, Luke, and M.E. may be really

Overview

"Readers are active participants . . . and are frequently invited to solve classic forms of code, such as Morse and semaphores. This intriguing tale has vivid characters and such a tantalizing cliffhanger that readers won’t be able to resist cracking the next Code Busters."—Kirkus Reviews
 
Cody, Quinn, Luke, and M.E. may be really different, but they all share one thing in common: they love playing around with codes. In fact, they love codes so much, they have their own private club, with a super-secret hideout and passwords that change every single day. 

When Cody and Quinn notice what could be a code on the window of a nearby house, the one owned by their strange neighbor, the guy they call Skeleton Man, the club gets to work. And it is a cry for help! 

Now the Code Busters are on the case—and nothing will stop them from solving the mystery and finding the secret treasure that seems to be the cause of it all!
 
This exciting interactive mystery offers more than fifteen codes for you to decipher, including the Consonant code, Morse code, and American Sign Language. Test your brain with the Code Busters and solve the mystery along with them. Answers are in the back, if you ever get stuck.
 
For more code-breaking fun, visit CodeBustersClub.com and join the club!
Ages 8–12

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This by-the-numbers launch to Warner's (The Mystery of the Haunted Caves) Code Busters Club series introduces four seventh graders who enjoy communicating via various codes—including American Sign Language, Morse code, and a mathematical cipher—that are incorporated into the novel and translated in its back matter. Code devotees may find this engaging, but the conceit adds little to this mystery, which involves a sudden fire that destroys a neighborhood hermit's house and a bizarre couple claiming to be his relatives, who the club members assume are searching for the man's buried treasure. In the neighbor's burnt-out house, the young sleuths find clues—written in code, of course—that lead them to the hermit's will and help them foil the villains' plans. Characterizations are thin, and the book's humor, often of a mildly scatological variety, misses the mark. Laborious detail, repetition, and stilted dialogue slow the pace, and contemporary references to C.S.I., Hurricane Katrina, and text message lingo aren't enough to keep this series from feeling dated out of the gate. Ages 8–12. (Aug.)
Kirkus Reviews

This first of a series delivers a splendid story of four youths on a code-breaking spree.

Cody and her three buddies comprise an exclusive club revolving around studying and creating codes. It's all in fun, but things amp up to intense when Cody and Quinn spy two lurking strangers at Mr. Skelton's creepy old house. Cody awakens the next morning to find Mr. Skelton's house in flames and an ambulance taking him to the hospital. Cody then notices symbols drawn on an upstairs windowpane. As the club members investigate the charred house and each new clue leads to the next, they find cryptic messages that lead them repeatedly to one of Mr. Skelton's many cats and possibly to hidden treasure. Moreover, the strangers, calling themselves cousins of Mr. Skelton, are clearly looking for something in the old man's house and begin to appear capable of treachery well beyond robbery. Adding depth to an already smart, fast-paced mystery, a resonant back story reveals that Cody's parents have recently divorced and that her little sister is deaf. Readers are active participants in the momentum and are frequently invited to solve classic forms of code, such as Morse and semaphores.

This intriguing tale has vivid characters and such a tantalizing cliffhanger that the readers won't be able to resist cracking the next Code Busters. (code keys and solutions) (Mystery. 8-12)

School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—This pedestrian mystery involves four kids who form a club based on their mutual enjoyment of riddles, puzzles, and secret codes. When one of their elderly neighbors acts weirdly, the kids realize that he has left a semaphore code on his bedroom window, asking for help. Two cheesy relatives are trying to kill him for his fortune. The children get involved and, by decoding a number of messages, are able to rescue him. Readers may enjoy solving the coded chapter titles as well as those that the children have to figure out. However, there is no character development, and the bad guys are stock figures who are more laughable than sinister. Most readers will find the solution to the mystery ridiculously obvious.—B. Allison Gray, Goleta Public Library, CA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781606841624
Publisher:
Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/13/2011
Series:
Code Busters Club Series, #1
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile:
710L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Penny Warner’s middle-grade mystery, The Mystery of the Haunted Caves, won an Agatha Award and an Anthony Award in 2002 for Best Juvenile Mystery. Her books have received excellent reviews and have been printed in fourteen countries throughout the world.

Warner lives in Danville, California. Visit her online at www.pennywarner.com.

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Secret of the Skeleton Key (Code Busters Club, Case Series #1) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gabe is that u from bena vista this is vasily
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No one will buy a book for $10, plus if the books not god then it eould be a rippoff :(
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
L O L O L O L O V E IT
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gabe