Book Scavenger – Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

Book Scavenger was our family’s read aloud a few months ago. How could you go wrong with a book about searching for hidden books?

Emily, twelve, and her family are moving. Again. This time the move takes them to San Francisco. While Emily is a bit weary of the constant moving of her family, the move to San Francisco has a silver lining. San Francisco is the home to Garrison Griswold. Who is this Griswold? Griswold is the creator of the Book Scavenger, an online game where you are awarded points for hiding and finding books all around the country.

As Emily arrives in San Francisco, Garrison is in a coma and Emily has stumbled across the beginnings of a new game, a book,  by Garrison. However, this game takes a dangerous turn because a few unsavory characters are on the hunt for this book as well. Thankfully Emily has James, a new friend who enjoys a good challenge, to help her save Mr. Griswold’s game before it is too late.

While the Book Scavenger began slowly, after a couple of chapters it becomes more interesting and engaging. The main plot of the story is Emily and James solving Mr. Griswold’s latest game. However, as you read, you discover that the underlying theme of this book is one of friendship, family, and forgiveness. This makes the Book Scavenger a worthy read.

Emily’s family moves a lot as her parents are attempting to live in all fifty states. As writers, this is the income for the family. Moving that frequently has been difficult for Emily and forming friendships just doesn’t happen anymore. When Emily moves to San Francisco she is dreading beginning all over again. Then she meets her neighbor, James, and they just happen to share a love of games, puzzles, books, and challenges.

When the game turns a bit dangerous, Emily puts the game above her friendship with James. The loss is harder on Emily than she imagined and seeks forgiveness and restoration of the friendship. As we follow Emily through the Book Scavenger, we see this same story of friendship and forgiveness played out with other characters.

Since my children have always been homeschooled, we had some interesting discussions on the dynamics of public school. Maddie, is a fellow classmate of Emily and James. Maddie does not get along with them. A bit of trickery and deception happens on both sides. Great opportunity for a bit of life lessons there.

Overall, Book Scavenger is an enjoyable read for those who love a bit of mystery, a good book, and an intriguing challenge. You may find a new book or two to read along the way as well. For readers around 9 and up. If you enjoy books such as Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, you will likely enjoy Book Scavenger.

As we were reading, my children thought it would be fabulous if there really was a Book Scavenger online game. Think geocaching or letterboxing for books. Guess what? There is! You can now find and hide books with We currently have no books hidden in our area so we hope to hide one ourselves.

Have you read Book Scavenger?




2 thoughts on “Book Scavenger – Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

  1. We haven’t read The Book Scavenger yet. I saw it at the library the other day and put it on my list to review as a read aloud possibility. I’m glad to see your review!! We finished Mr. Lemoncello’s Library a couple weeks ago. We all liked it… even Roger made it a point to come in for read aloud time!

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