An Encrypted Clue is a 2021 Purple Dragonfly Award winner:
First Place: Mystery
First Place (tie): STEM
Second Place (tie): Middle Grade Fiction
Jordan and Justin are best friends and the only two kids in their class’s advanced math group. So it isn’t until Stephanie Lewis marches into their classroom that they meet someone who’s as good with numbers as they are. Their shared interest in math quickly draws them together, and the three soon form The Math Kids.
Unfortunately, life as math club kids isn’t always easy. In addition to extra homework, the three friends have two new problems. First, a string of mysterious burglaries has the whole neighborhood on edge, including their parents. Then, they manage to earn unwanted attention from Robbie, the class bully. Luckily, Jordan, Justin, and Stephanie soon learn that their new club may give them the skills they need to solve both problems.
I was completely swept into the tale. Intrigue, mystery, and the troubles that followed kept me reading. This is a must read for all
If you have 6-9 year old kids who don't like math but enjoy reading, this book is for you. It is a wonderful read for everyone in the family.
The Prime-Time Burglars was named one of the best new kids books of 2018 by Red Tricycle (http://redtri.com/best-new-kids-books-of-the-year/slide/1)
As a teacher, I have heard so many times that math isn’t fun. Many students can’t foresee what good it will ever be in their daily lives. Well, The Math Kids is a novel that will help readers see its value.
This is a fun and insightful page-turner that captures the pleasure of discussing math and solving real-life math problems as a team.
The Math Kids was a very fun read! My 12 year old son and I read it together and we both enjoyed it very much.
The Math Kids Club is back! After solving the case of the prime-time burglars, The Math Kids, Jordan, Justin, and Stephanie are ready to return to the original purpose of their club: solving math problems. And the district Math Olympics is the perfect opportunity to do just that. But before they can enter the competition, they need a fourth teammate. The Math Kids set their sights on Catherine Duchesne.
Even though Catherine has been quiet in class, she knows some really cool math tricks that are sure to help The Math Kids win the competition. But when Catherine doesn’t show up for school and Jordan, Justin, and Stephanie find out her father’s been kidnapped, the group springs into action to help their new friend.
A Sequence of Events was named one of the best new kids books of 2019.
"For any kid who loves math, buy this book. And any kid who doesn't? Buy it to show them math is fun!"
I love the explanations given for each math problem the children face. The chapter on how math is seen in art is wonderful and this is the best explanation I have ever seen for the Fibonacci sequence.
What I liked especially is the overwhelming joy and wonderment in numbers. The enticing problems are expanded and their solutions explained. I believe this book will appeal to all young people who like adventures.
This type of book is an absolute gem! It combines a realistic setting like a school, a clever mystery plot and a mathematical twist is bound to engage students.
I wish I could read Math Kids again for the first time. This book was an absolute pleasure to read. Highly recommended for girls who love math, but often feel slighted.
Highly Recommended rating from CM (a resource for librarians ).
I really enjoy the Math Kids novels. They are well-written and very interesting, and, additionally, the math problems are super interesting.
The Math Kids are at it again! When their new friend, FBI Special Agent Carlson, asks them to take a look at a cryptic poem written by a dying bank robber, they know they will need all of their math skills to crack the case.
The poem isn't their only problem, though. Their favorite school janitor is fired for stealing from student lockers. The Math Kids know Old Mike would never do anything like that, but how can they prove it, especially with the new janitor watching their every move?
Jordan, Stephanie, Justin, and Catherine will need math, bravery, and a little bit of luck if they hope to solve the bank robbery case and get Old Mike his job back. Will they be able to figure out the unusual pattern in time?
The book was interesting and fun, I think it will be a great way to get non-math lovers into math, and show all the uses for it.
An Unusual Pattern was named one of the best kids books of 2019!
Think Encyclopedia Brown meets STEM learning, your kids will have so much fun reading these adventures they won't even notice they're learning important math concepts!
I just love this series, and when I got the next book I had to read it at once. The book is very well written, and as always the plot, story and characters are great. It's also educational in more than just math, and with the illustrations it's perfect. I can't wait for the next one.
I am a math coach for a middle school in Florida. I also read the other Math Kids books. Again this was a cute, engaging story combining math and literacy. Perfect for middle school kids as well. Highly recommend this for the math classroom or just reading for fun.
I can definitely recommend this book to middle grade readers. Not only does the story contain educational information, but it was an interesting, quick read that all can enjoy.
I have read the first two books and was all too excited to read this 3rd installment! Everything about it was mathematically wonderful. Sure, it is written for kids in grades 3-6. But, if you are a math-loving adult, you just may like this one.
When Stephanie Lewis finds secret writing in the margin of an old book in the library, The Math Kids have a new puzzle to solve. But first, they'll have to learn about codes and ciphers and how they can use their math skills to solve them.
As one clue leads to another, the kids are drawn into the mysterious old house that overlooks the town. Is it really haunted like some of the townspeople say? And who is the man in the long beard who keeps showing up everywhere they go?
But that's not their only problem. Unless they can find a solution, the math competition they've been training so hard for will be cancelled.
Jordan, Stephanie, Justin, and Catherine will need to use all their problem-solving skills to figure out the clues before it's too late.
The Math Kids are at it again. Stephanie finds secret writing in the margins of an old book. And that is all it takes! Codes, ciphers, and math! What more could you ask for? This is a great read, thoroughly enjoyable.
What a fun mystery series! A group of children dedicated to problem solving manage to find each other and solve mysteries within the town. Students who love puzzles will enjoy both the mystery and the challenge problems posed throughout.
This was a really refreshing book that gave kids an exposure to codes and ciphers in a fun and easily accessible way. I definitely wish I had books like these when I was a kid!
I love this series. As a middle school math coach, I find these books to be the perfect mix of math and reading. I love how students are learning about math in a real life situation and the stories make you feel like you’re not doing math.
The book is indeed intriguing, and the best part is certainly the amount of knowledge that has been put under the veil of fiction. It is no doubt a wonderful way of letting kids learn effectively with fun. The story has been written in a manner that is capable of giving birth to fascination about science and mathematics in young children.
I read this book with my 8-year-old son. He loves The Codebusters Club books, so was so excited about The Math Kids! We had a great time solving the codes together, and I love how it explained the specifics behind the ciphers and codes being used.
Fifth grade could not be starting off any worse for the Math Kids. Jordan, Justin, Stephanie, and Catherine have been split up. The girls are in one class with most of the bullies, which is proving to be quite chaotic, while the boys are stuck with and their nemesis, Robbie Colson, and their new teacher, Mr. Miller, who has made it quite clear he doesn't like math. Separated like this, the kids worry this could be the end of their math club, and to complicate matters, there's something going on with Robbie. When Jordan witnesses a shouting match between Robbie and his dad after school, he begins to question the bully's history of injuries and wonders if Officer Colson might do more than yell.
People problems suddenly seem a lot more challenging than homework, but maybe with the right plan--and some math--the four Math Kids can find a way to deal with their classroom woes and make sure Robbie stays safe.
“Your art project is going to have to wait,” Jordan said tensely. “I just got a text from Agent Carlson. He’s in trouble!”
When FBI Special Agent Carlson is kidnapped in Egypt while investigating the plane crash of Willard Howell, an eccentric billionaire inventor, Jordan and his friends spring into action. Catherine, Stephanie, Jordan, and Justin, the fifth graders who formed the Math Kids club to solve math puzzles, must unravel the clues in Howell’s mysterious will before it’s too late. If they can’t figure out the secret of the triangle in time, Howell’s money will be gone forever.
Now the Egyptians are after the Math Kids, too. In their most exciting adventure to date, the four friends will need all their math skills to save their FBI friend and find the missing money.
Everything changed the day Brian Bingham looked out the attic window and saw something that wouldn't happen for another week. Through a mysterious window no one else can see, Brian gains a portal into the future. But the future is not always something he wants to see.
Brian has enough troubles in the present without worrying about the future. His parents are constantly fighting, his grades are plummeting, and his new relationship with Charlotte, a girl way out of his league, is in jeopardy.
When the window reveals his best friend's brutal death, Brian's world is turned upside down. He must find a way to change the future...or die trying.
The attic had always creeped Brian Bingham out, but now at fourteen, he's too old to be afraid of shadows and dusty boxes. When a strange window appears, he discovers it's a portal to the future. A lot of the things he sees are mundane until he witnesses his best friend's horrifying death. Brian has to stop it. But can what he see through the window be changed or will it offer something much more terrifying?
This is a YA supernatural novel which begins on a fairly ordinary note. Brian is a typical teen, a little timid with the girls, but he has a good heart. It's a contemporary boy's life that is well written. Annoying little sister, cool best friend, parents in a failing marriage, and a new girlfriend. The window itself is a mystery. It appears one day when Brian is fetching a box of Christmas decorations. What he sees is fairly mundane. He finds himself spending more and more time in the attic watching his neighborhood. The window becomes something more when it shows him his friend's death and it snowballs after that. There is a creepy factor in that something so ordinary is something so sinister at the same time.
This remarkable novel had me hooked from the first page. It's not enough that Brian Bingham must simultaneously deal with his first love, his parent's dissolving marriage, and plummeting grades. A mysterious portal shows him a terrifying future.
Dave Cole deftly handles themes of family, friendship, and pre-destination vs self determination.
Fans of Before I Fall and A Prayer for Owen Meany will love this paranormal coming of age novel.
The Window is a novel about growing up and coming to terms with some of the greatest difficulties of life. The protagonist is a teenage boy named Brian who has a lot going on in his life. He’s trying to navigate his first year of high school, which means struggles with grades and figuring out what it means to be in a relationship with his first love, Charlotte. He also has to deal with his parents and their near-constant arguments.
That would be a lot for any teenager to handle. Unfortunately for Brian, he has something supernatural happening in his attic in the form of a mysterious window that predicts the future. After seeing his best friend die in that window, he becomes obsessed. Is the accident inevitable? Can he possibly stop it from happening?
The themes of love, loss, family, and friendship in this novel will surely resonate with young readers who are also learning to cope with these issues in their own lives.
Dave Cole's creepy paranormal book is perfect for young adult boys, but girls will enjoy it too. As a retired teacher who's read countless books aloud to elementary-aged kids, I know a winner when I see one, and this book is a winner.
The Window grabbed me with the first two lines: "I was fifteen when I saw my best friend die. Although if I think about it, I was fourteen when I saw him die the first time." I flew through this coming-of-age novel with its unnerving supernatural twist. Fifteen-year-old Brian Bingham is confronted with more than the death of his best friend JK during the worst year of his life: his grades are tanking, his parents are warring, and he is falling in love for the first time. The prospect of someone as clumsy and insecure as him asking someone as confident and beautiful as Charlotte out on a date is terrifying to Brian. But with JK as his enthusiastic wingman, he has no choice but to plunge in.
Dave's prose flowed as I read, his words carrying me from page to page. The characters, their challenges, and the setting have an immediacy and authenticity that I appreciated. Dave has a knack for blending expository information into the narrative seamlessly. The story has a timeless quality about it: It could take place today, years ago, or in the near future.
I don't care how old you are, the sight of a mysterious window where no window exists is irresistible. I'd look through it; wouldn't you? Unfortunately, as we story lovers know, knowledge of the hidden, the inexplicable, and the compelling usually extracts a cost. Is the tragedy unfolding predestined or can Brian change the future? Only time will tell.
Young adult fiction is typically written for readers 12 to 18 years old, but I would recommend this book for avid readers as young as 10 and to the many adults who enjoy this genre. Choosing a book for boys to read is often challenging, but boys will connect with the contemporary issues in The Window.
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