Book Scavenger

Book Scavenger
Written by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

Publisher’s Summary:
For twelve-year-old Emily, the best thing about moving to San Francisco is that it’s the home city of her literary idol: Garrison Griswold, book publisher and creator of the online sensation Book Scavenger (a game where books are hidden in cities all over the country and clues to find them are revealed through puzzles). Upon arriving, however, Emily learns that Griswold has been attacked, and no one knows anything about the epic new game he had been poised to launch. Then Emily and her new friend James discover an odd book, which they come to believe is from Griswold himself. Racing against time, Emily and James try to uncover the secret at the heart of Griswold’s new game – before Griswold’s attackers find them.

Primary Source Pairing:
Edgar Allan Poe and his works are brought to life in this fun book adventure. Griswold has chosen Poe’s short story The Gold-Bug as the beginning of his newest game, which unfortunately he is not able to unveil due to the accident in the BART station. Emily finds the book and the game begins even if she doesn’t necessarily know she is playing it.

Edgar Allan Poe wrote The Gold-Bug in 1843 for a short story contest. The story won first place and was published in three installments in the Philadelphia Dollar Newspaper. The artwork was done by an artist named Herpin in 1895 to accompany the short story. For this primary source pairing, invite students to take a glimpse into history at this artwork for Edgar Allan Poe’s The Gold-Bug.

Additionally, encourage students to use and consult a map of San Fransisco to follow the action of the story. In our library, we are checking out a printed map with the book. This is a two-for-one as students dive into the action of the story and also practice important map skills.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Describe what you see.
  • What do you notice first?
  • What people and objects are shown?
  • How are they arranged?
  • What is the physical setting?
  • Who do you think was the audience for this image?
  • What can you learn from examining this image?
  • How does this illustration represent what you’ve learned about the story The Gold-Bug?

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
The Gold-Bug illustration: Wikimedia
San Fransisco Map:

Additional Resource:
Denver Public Library Book Scavenger Activity Packet