York: The Shadow Cipher by Laura RubyYork: The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby

York: The Shadow Cipher

byLaura Ruby

Hardcover | May 16, 2017

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“The pleasures of the novel go far beyond the crackling, breathless plot and the satisfaction of watching the puzzle fall into place. The book is shot through with humor, both laugh-out-loud and subtle.” New York Times Book Review

From National Book Award finalist and Printz Award winner Laura Ruby comes an epic alternate history series about three kids who 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.

It was 1798 when the Morningstarr twins arrived in New York with a vision for a magnificent city: towering skyscrapers, dazzling machines, and winding train lines, all running on technology no one had ever seen before.

Fifty-seven years later, the enigmatic architects disappeared, leaving behind for the people of New York the Old York Cipher—a puzzle laid into the shining city they constructed, at the end of which was promised a treasure beyond all imagining. By the present day, however, the puzzle has never been solved, and the greatest mystery of the modern world is little more than a tourist attraction.

Tess and Theo Biedermann and their friend Jaime Cruz live in a Morningstarr apartment—until a real estate developer announces that the city has agreed to sell him the five remaining Morningstarr buildings. Their likely destruction means the end of a dream long held by the people of New York.

And if Tess, Theo, and Jaime want to save their home, they have to prove that the Old York Cipher is real. Which means they have to solve it.

"An epic mission to solve one of the greatest mysteries of their time. I loved this book. It is full of twists and turns" (from the Brightly.com review, which named York: The Shadow Cipher one of the best books of 2017).

Laura Ruby writes fiction for adults, young adults, and children. Her works include Good Girls, Play Me, Bad Apple, Lily's Ghosts, The Wall and the Wing, The Chaos King, the York Trilogy, and a collection of interconnected short stories about blended families for adults entitled I'm Not Julia Roberts. She won the 2016 Michael L. Printz...
Title:York: The Shadow CipherFormat:HardcoverDimensions:496 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.49 inPublished:May 16, 2017Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062306936

ISBN - 13:9780062306937


Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Engaging and Mystifying Adventure! “The Shadow Cipher" an imaginative and exciting mystery novel for middle-graders begins in 19th century New York City where a pair of brilliant twins- the Morningstarrs -used their creativity not only to shape their city using a new energy source harnessed from the run’s rays but by inventing mechanical creatures that eliminated waste. When they disappeared fifty-seven years later they left behind a code that once deciphered promised a priceless treasure. For years people have been mystified by a puzzle that no one can solve only to have it become a piece of New York’s past and an intoxicating lure for tourists in the present. Years later in modern day New York, the story heats up when a greedy real estate developer announces that he’s going to purchase the last five Morningstarr properties, one of which is the apartment building where Tess and Theo Biedermann and Jaime Cruz live. Their families having received an eviction notice the three decide to save their home and prove the cipher is not a hoax. Armed with a secret letter from Theresa Morningstarr to the Biedermann’s grandfather with a cryptic warning not to trust anyone, they begin an adventure using their intelligence, natural curiosity, energy and courage to unravel clues to a mystery that proves to be as challenging as it is dangerous. Well-written and intriguing the kids uncover clues buried in riddles and mathematical puzzles that have them racing around New York meeting fascinating people, encountering mechanical insects like the caterpillar that turns into a moth, and taking a nerve- wracking train ride as they ferret out answers. Intensity and suspense constantly build as the plot twists and turns with Tess, Theo and Jamie’s quest taking them to historical landmarks, to a cemetery, an art gallery and finally to their home at 354West 73rd Street. In a writing style that captures your interest from the first page to the last the plot narrated by Theo, Tess and Jamie flows smoothly and quickly to an explosive climax that begs for a sequel. Like the plot the characters are fascinating, realistic and unforgettable especially the three sleuths Tess, Theo and Jamie. Their mother a detective, father a school counselor, and grandfather the former President of the Old York Puzzles and Cipherist Society, it is no wonder the Biedermanns are considered an eccentric family who have lived in the apartment building for ages; their daughter Tess the curious twin with a temper while her brother Theo’s the highly intelligent, inventive and logical one. Their friendship with Jamie Cruz who’s plagued with an absentee father quickly develops out of necessity after the building is sold, and their families ordered to move out within 30 days. Talented with his drawings of superheroes, he’s intuitive and a good-natured friend who keeps family disappoints to himself. These main characters infect the story with excitement, humor and high-energy as they uncover one mystery after another. I thoroughly enjoyed “The Shadow Cipher and can’t wait to see where Laura Ruby takes the adventure next.
Date published: 2017-06-18

Editorial Reviews

“The first book in an exciting new series that’s great for fans of steampunk, history, mystery, and magic. Let the puzzles begin!”