Grade 4-8-A wonderful guide to secret writing. Janeczko relates how different codes came to be and why they were needed, and gives some historical examples. The book also contains information and exercises (with answers) on deciphering codes and provides children with the tools to make their own field kit. In addition to numerous codes and ciphers, invisible ink recipes and a number of concealment techniques are included. Humorous black-and-white sketches featuring two figures in sunglasses and trench coats are found throughout the book. The author's upbeat, positive tone is refreshing and his enthusiasm about his topic is contagious. He recommends that readers go to the library to learn more about the subject, and encourages them to use their imaginations and share the fun of secret writing with friends.
Cynde Suite, Bartow County Library System, Adairsville, GA
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*Starred Review* Gr. 4-7. Although readers familiar with Janeczko's poetry anthologies may be surprised to see his name on a book about cryptography, the connection between his two passions rapidly comes clear. After all, codes, like poems, allow one to conceal or unveil meaning in satisfyingly elegant ways. Janeczko gives aspiring codemakers and codebreakers everything they need for staging their own information exchanges--terminology; instructions for making simple devices (using index cards and an exacto knife to create Cardano Grilles, a message-concealment tool first used in 1556); concrete advice (assemble a "spy toolkit," using film-canister "vials" to store homemade invisible ink); and plenty of practice activities with answers at the back of the book. Fascinating historical anecdotes keep things lively, as do LaReau's stylish black-and-white illustrations, which show two spies, a male and a female, slinking through the pages as if to the furtive beat of the Pink Panther theme song. A certain category of puzzle-loving kids, especially those whose interest has been whetted by Blue Balliett's code-rich adventure Chasing Vermeer [BKL Ap 1 04], will take to this packed-to-the-gills volume like a spy to a cat suit. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Got this for our 9 1/2 year old daughter for Christmas and she spent almost the entirety of her Christmas vacation working out the codes in the book, then writing coded messages... Read morePublished 3 months ago by FiddleFied
Arrived on time; Exactly as described; Very Pleased with product. Good Book.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
The book covers the basics of several types of ciphers as well as the basics of steganography. It's a great introduction at the middle school level. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Ben