Tuesday, June 23, 2009
How Can a Potato Chip Be Puzzling?
The Potato Chip Puzzles by Eric Berlin answers that very question. This book is a fun read for students who might have enjoyed The Gollywhopper Games or The Mysterious Benedict Society books. It also brings to mind the television show, The Amazing Race.
The Potato Chip Puzzles is another book that centers around Winston Breen (a whiz at puzzles) and his friends. The first was titled The Puzzling World of Winston Breen. The great part is that you don't need to read them in order, as far as I can tell. This book was able to be read as a stand alone book. But, if you have students who end up enjoying this book, you will have a second book to which you can refer them -- always a plus!
In The Potato Chip Puzzles, Winston is recruited by his school principal to help solve a mysterious note that came in the mail. When Winston figures out how to break the code, he and his principal find out that their school has been chosen to compete in a snack food company's puzzle contest. The winning school will win $50,000.
Winston is allowed to choose his team, and he selects good friends of his who are also good puzzle and problem solvers. However, each team needs a teacher/coach, and this selection is made by the principal. From the very beginning, sparks fly between the chosen teacher and Winston.
The contestants are sent to Simon's Snack Foods that weekend, and from there, the real fun begins. Each solved puzzle sends the contestants from one location to another. None of the puzzles are easy to solve, and even when the contestants arrive at the accurate location, they still have to figure out where the next clue is.
To spice things up a little, there is an unknown person trying to sabotage all of the other contestants. All the elements make for a fun mystery -- puzzle solving, clues, and the mystery of the sabotage.
The Potato Chip Puzzles is a fun read and a quick read. Puzzle solvers will love it, and there is even additional fun at the back of the book for them to try.