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York (The Shadow Cipher)
by Laura Ruby
In the early 1800's, twins Theresa and Theodore Morningstarr were behind the growth and creation of New York City. From the "Underground" to the trash recycling "rollers", all inventions were their brainchildren. But then one day they vanished, leaving the city to speculate about a cipher they passed on that was said to lead to treasure! Skip forward several decades and we meet twins Tess and Theo, named for the Morningstarrs and residing in one of their greatest accomplishments, the Tower.
Tess and Theo have always been fascinated by the Morningstarrs and their York Cipher. Their grandfather was part of a secret society who's sole purpose is to crack the code. And although they had many people working on it for many years, no one ever came close to discovering the treasure.
Then one day the twins learn that an evil developer has bought their beloved apartment building and has given the tenants 30 days to vacate. Tess and Theo feel as if the York Cipher is the key to saving their building. All of a sudden the clock has started ticking for them to do what no one has been able to do - find the treasure and get their building back.
Will they be too late? Will the treasure save their building? Can two kids with the help of some friends crack the Morningstarr code? These questions will keep you racing through the book to the very last page. And when you're done, you will be waiting anxiously for the next installment of this gripping series.
Can you solve the code?
I would recommend this book for upper elementary school students who love to read and to middle school students. Even though the story is complicated and intriguing, the characters might be a little young to appeal to high school students; although not for this middle aged librarian!