This week, we're highlighting some great picks for middle schoolers, Librarian M gets us started with a new book from Printz Award winner Laura Ruby.
York: The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby
Tess and Theo Biedermann and their friend Jaime Cruz live in a building built by the Morningstarr twins in present-day New York City. A real estate developer wants to tear down their home and build shiny new condos, but they are convinced that if they can follow a set of clues from the twins that lead to a purported treasure, they will be able to save their building.
This is an alternate history of New York City. It is still recognizable as New York, but the Morningstarr twins, who were super-inventors in the 19th century, have left a legacy of all sorts of interesting technology such as beetle-like machines that pick up trash in the street and an innovative rail system for getting around the city. The technological touches fit in seamlessly in this alternate New York. The treasure hunt is fun, thrilling, and even gets dangerous towards the end of the book.
I recommend this book for any middle schoolers looking for a fun, but not fluffy, adventure story!