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Click Here to Start

Denis Markell. Delacorte, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-101-93187-5

In this clever debut, Markell takes readers on a clue-filled adventure featuring three 12-year-olds in search of a treasure lost since the waning days of WWII. Ted Gerson is an expert at locked-room video games, priding himself on never needing a walkthrough to solve them. When Ted’s Japanese-American great-uncle (and namesake), who fought as part of the Nisei brigade during the war, dies and leaves Ted the contents of his apartment, he discovers that it has been arranged like one of his games, with hints to guide him toward a mysterious reward. He enlists best friend Caleb and book-smart Isabel to unravel Great-Uncle Ted’s secrets, but they’re racing against the clock, as well as others interested in whatever lies at the end of the game. Markell maintains an energetic, entertaining balance of character-driven narrative and tricky challenges, even if some of the leaps of logic are fairly farfetched. It’s also clear that Markell is setting up a potential series, as some of the biggest questions remain unanswered, such as who might have helped Great-Uncle Ted arrange matters so conveniently. Ages 10–up. Agent: Holly Root, Waxman Leavell Literary. (July)