When 12-year-old Ted Gerson goes to see his dying Great-Uncle Ted at the hospital, little does he know he’s about to embark on a real-life escape-the-room game, his favorite kind of computer game.
Ted is a half Jewish, half Japanese-American boy whose father likens the combination to an alloy: two ancient cultures coming together to create something stronger. When Great-Uncle Ted dies, he bequeaths Ted “the entire contents of his apartment, with all the treasure it contains,” with the statement “search hard and you will find it.” Naturally, Ted sets out to solve the clues and find the treasure. He is helped out by his best friend, Caleb Grant, a blond, white boy not quite as good as Ted with puzzles but passionate about drawing and superheroes; and by nerdy Isabel Archer, a white girl with Alice in Wonderland hair whom the boys have only just met. What ensues involves a computer game called “The Game of Ted,” which mysteriously parallels the search and evolves with it; a dose of World War II history, including looted Nazi treasure and Japanese internment camps; villains after the same treasure; and a lot of spunk on the part of our heroes. The story, narrated by Ted, has humor, believable characters, and adventure that keeps readers in suspense to the end.
A winner for mystery enthusiasts. (Mystery. 10-13)