The Potato Chip Puzzles
by Eric Berlin, published 2009
“Let me tell you what’s going to happen. You’re going to face six puzzles. The first team to send me the answers to all six puzzles will win fifty thousand dollars for their school.”
If your young reader loves puzzles, and loves kids who can solve puzzles, this children’s book is perfect for them. Think of it as a much milder version of The Mysterious Benedict Society. In some ways, I liked it better, as there’s no big evil plot, though there is a very misguided adult in the mix. There are lots of puzzles; in fact, the back of the book has extras, and all the puzzles have solutions. So it’s an adventure and puzzle book combined. Nice mix.
This book is the second children’s book in a series of “The Puzzling World of Winston Breen.” I never read the first one, and it didn’t seem to matter, though now I am curious enough to read it.
In addition to a profusion of great word and number puzzles, this children’s book throws one more thing into the mix – what happens when you can’t actually trust the adult who is supposed to guide your team. Some adults might not like the message that not all authority is trustworthy. However, I do like the fact that the children are forced to think and act from their highest wisdom, even when the adult around them is not.
This is definitely a middle school children’s book, and a fun one to have especially on a trip, since the puzzles themselves are engrossing.