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Author: Ruby, Laura
Book one: Three kids try to solve the greatest mystery of the modern world: a puzzle and treasure hunt laid into the very streets and buildings of New York City. And if they want to save their home from being destroyed by a real estate developer, they must quickly prove the Old York Cipher is real.
York, Bk. 1
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.30
Points: 14.0 Quiz: 189888
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 5.70
Points: 21.0 Quiz: 71551
Kirkus Reviews (+) (03/15/17)
School Library Journal (+) (04/01/17)
Booklist (+) (03/15/17)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/05/17)
The Hornbook (00/05/17)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 03/15/2017 *Starred Review* Twins Tess and Theo live in one of the only remaining buildings designed by the Morningstarrs, visionary twins who built glittering structures in nineteenth-century New York, as well as the Cipher, a notorious, citywide puzzle leading to fantastic treasure. Now, in the twenty-first century, Tess and Theo’s building has been purchased by a mercenary developer, but Tess grasps at a shred of hope: if they solve the Cipher, they might be able to keep their home. With robust, architectural world building, Ruby reveals an alternate New York teeming with mechanical marvels and compelling secrets. This New York still has some familiar features, however: a rich culture of diversity alongside insidious greed and wealth inequality. Tess and Theo, and their friend and neighbor Jaime, have distinct voices and idiosyncrasies that, though some might consider them odd, become marvelous strengths. As the trio traverse the city, they’re often baffled by how easily clues fall into their hands, but Ruby slyly sidesteps those coincidences by giving the Cipher itself a mysterious, subtle sort of agency. In this smart, immersive series starter, Ruby expertly juggles stunning plot choreography, realistic stakes in a captivating fantasy setting, well-wrought characters, and flashes of sharp cultural commentary. It’s a brainy romp with a worrying heart, and while many plot threads are resolved, Theo, Tess, and Jaime will surely, thankfully, be back for more. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 04/01/2017 Gr 5–8—In an alternate present-day New York, three seventh graders embark on a citywide adventure as they attempt to solve a centuries-old cipher in order to save their home. In the mid-19th century, the Morningstarr twins, brilliant inventors who created steampunk-esque technology and iconic architecture that greatly influenced New York, disappeared, leaving a puzzle for the city, known as the Old York Cipher. They bequeathed a large sum of money to their employee, Ms. Ava Oneal, as well as the building that the modern-day Biedermann twins Theo and Tess, along with their friend Jaime Cruz, live in and are trying to save. Ava, an intelligent and mysterious woman, sets in motion the events leading up to the present day. Unsure whom to trust and facing dangers around every corner, Theo, Tess, and Jaime must solve the cipher if they want to save New York as they know it. Ruby's latest is a high-stakes mystery novel filled with intriguing puzzles, solid world-building, and diverse characters. The Morningstarrs were immigrants to America and funded projects that were beneficial to people of all backgrounds. The wealthy real estate developer who wants to evict people from the Morningstarr apartment buildings is an antithesis to the Morningstarr legacy, which the teens are trying to protect. VERDICT An engaging series opener that will leave readers eagerly awaiting future installments.—Marissa Lieberman, East Orange Public Library, NJ - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.