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Click Here To Start (A Novel)

by Denis Markell

  • Paperback
    $16.32
PUBLISHED: 20th September 2017
ISBN: 9781101931905
ANNOTATION:
After Ted inherits his uncle's apartment--"and all the treasure within"--he realizes the apartment is set up like a real-life video game and must solve the puzzles with his friends to discover the treasure.
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  • Paperback
    $16.32
PUBLISHED: 20th September 2017
ISBN: 9781101931905
ANNOTATION:
After Ted inherits his uncle's apartment--"and all the treasure within"--he realizes the apartment is set up like a real-life video game and must solve the puzzles with his friends to discover the treasure.

Annotation

After Ted inherits his uncle's apartment--"and all the treasure within"--he realizes the apartment is set up like a real-life video game and must solve the puzzles with his friends to discover the treasure.

Publisher Description

Young fans of Ernie Cline's Ready Player One will love this classic video game inspired mystery filled with elements of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library and From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

What if playing video games was prepping you to solve an incredible real-world puzzle and locate a priceless treasure?

Twelve-year-old Ted Gerson has spent most of his summer playing video games. So when his great-uncle dies and bequeaths him the all so-called treasure in his overstuffed junk shop of an apartment, Ted explores it like it's another level to beat. And to his shock, he finds that eccentric Great-Uncle Ted actually has set the place up like a real-life escape-the-room game!

Using his specially honed skills, Ted sets off to win the greatest game he's ever played, with help from his friends Caleb and Isabel. Together they discover that Uncle Ted's "treasure" might be exactly that-real gold and jewels found by a Japanese American unit that served in World War II. With each puzzle Ted and his friends solve, they get closer to unraveling the mystery-but someone dangerous is hot on their heels, and he's not about to let them get away with the fortune.

Praise for Click Here to Start-

"As addictive as your favorite video game. I couldn't put it down."-Adam Gidwitz, New York Times bestselling author of A Tale Dark and Grimm

"Humor, believable characters, and adventure...keeps readers in suspense to the end. A winner for mystery enthusiasts."-Kirkus Reviews

"In this clever debut, Markell takes readers on a clue-filled adventure... and maintains an energetic, entertaining balance of character-driven narrative and tricky challenges."-Publishers Weekly

"Markell's highly entertaining debut novel...is a well-paced read with fully realized and likable characters,... and should have strong appeal to gamers, fans of video game-based stories, and reluctant readers."-SLJ

"This book will appeal to a wide audience. Readers who enjoyed Schreiber's Game Over, Pete Watson will enjoy the video game component; fans of Fitzgerald's Under the Egg will enjoy reading more about the Monuments Men; detective story aficionados will revel in the inclusion of The Maltese Falcon story. This is a great book to hand to just about any middle grade reader."-YA Books Central

A School Library Guild selection

An Amazon Best Books of the Month Selection

From the Hardcover edition.

Author Biography

This is Denis Markell's first novel, and he took writing it very seriously, playing hours and hours worth of escape-the-room games for research (or so he told his family). He also cowrote an award-winning Off-Broadway musical revue and wrote a few musical comedies for the stage; various and sundry sitcoms; a play with Joan Rivers; an episode of Thundercats; two picture books illustrated by his wife, Melissa Iwai-The Great Stroller Adventureand Hush, Little Monster-and Poser, a memoir of his years as a male model.

(One of these things is not true.)

He lives in a small apartment in Brooklyn with Melissa; their son, Jamie; and a Shetland pony name Ronaldo.

(One of these things is not true.)

From the Hardcover edition.

Review

"As addictive as your favorite video game. I couldn't put it down."-Adam Gidwitz, New York Times bestselling author of A Tale Dark and Grimm "Humor, believable characters, and adventure...keeps readers in suspense to the end. A winner for mystery enthusiasts."-Kirkus Reviews

"In this clever debut, Markell takes readers on a clue-filled adventure...[and] maintains an energetic, entertaining balance of character-driven narrative and tricky challenges."-Publishers Weekly

"Markell's highly entertaining debut novel...is a well-paced read with fully realized and likable characters, ...[and] should have strong appeal to gamers, fans of video game-based stories, and reluctant readers."-SLJ

"This book will appeal to a wide audience. Readers who enjoyed Schreiber's Game Over, Pete Watson will enjoy the video game component; fans of Fitzgerald's Under the Egg will enjoy reading more about the Monuments Men; detective story aficionados will revel in the inclusion of The Maltese Falcon story. This is a great book to hand to just about any middle grade reader."-YA Books Central

A School Library Guild selection

An Amazon Best Books of the Month Selection

Review Quote

" As addictive as your favorite video game. I couldn't put it down. "-Adam Gidwitz, New York Times bestselling author of A Tale Dark and Grimm " Humor, believable characters, and adventure...keeps readers in suspense to the end. A winner for mystery enthusiasts."- Kirkus Reviews " In this clever debut, Markell takes readers on a clue-filled adventure ...[and] maintains an energetic, entertaining balance of character-driven narrative and tricky challenges. "- Publishers Weekly " Markell's highly entertaining debut novel...is a well-paced read with fully realized and likable characters,...[and] should have strong appeal to gamers, fans of video game-based stories, and reluctant readers."- SLJ "This book will appeal to a wide audience. Readers who enjoyed Schreiber's Game Over , Pete Watson will enjoy the video game component; fans of Fitzgerald's Under the Egg will enjoy reading more about the Monuments Men; detective story aficionados will revel in the inclusion of The Maltese Falcon story. This is a great book to hand to just about any middle grade reader. "-YA Books Central

Excerpt from Book

Chapter 1 Who Knew a Man with Tubes in His Nose Could Be Funny? It looks like something from a science-fiction movie, with so many machines and tubes going into and out of bags hung on poles. For a moment, it doesn''t register that all those tubes and hoses are connected to a person. I have no memory of what he looked like when I was little, and the only photo of Great-Uncle Ted in our house is from ages and ages ago. It shows a burly man with a crew cut, sitting in a living room in the 1960s. He''s got a cigarette in one hand and a lighter in the other. I wonder if he hadn''t smoked so many cigarettes maybe he wouldn''t be here now. He''s looking at the camera with a confident grin that says this is not a man to mess with. The only other place I''ve ever seen Asian men with kick-butt expressions like that is in samurai or martial-arts movies. Not that I watch them all that much. I mean, it''s bad enough other people make assumptions about us Asian kids. No need for me to help out. But I gotta say, that photo can''t be further from the old man lying in this bed. The grossest thing is the tube going right up into his nose. It looks horrible, and is attached to a machine that does who knows what. I go and stand awkwardly by the window, unsure of what to do. I wish Mom had come in with me, but she said Great-Uncle Ted wants to see me alone. Dying man''s last wish and all, I guess. I clear my throat and sort of whisper, "Um, hi?" "Arwhk." The two veiny sacs of his eyelids slowly open, and when he sees me, he gestures, beckoning me over with one hand. I gingerly approach the chair next to his bed, careful not to disturb any of the wires and tubes snaking around him. It''s hard--I have visions of knocking into some hose or other just as I''m supposed to be having a nice visit. "Gghhh ..." Great-Uncle Ted catches my eye and reaches out. Without thinking, I flinch. I have a flashback to a movie I saw where a guy laid out like this had a monster burst out of his chest and jump on someone''s face. I''m not saying I expect that to happen here, but hey, it does go through my mind. Great-Uncle Ted''s eyes change. He points impatiently to something on the table. A pad and paper. There is spidery writing on it. "You want me to ... give you the pad?" I ask. Now there''s a flash of fire in Great-Uncle Ted''s eyes. I know when someone''s ticked off. The message is clearly Yes, you idiot. Give me the pad. I hand the pad to my great-uncle, who winces in pain as he presses a button on the side of his bed that raises him to a seated position. Slowly, he writes something and then hands me the pad. Hurts too much to talk. You Amanda''s boy, Ted? I start to write an answer on the pad. The next thing I know, Great-Uncle Ted yanks the pad out of my hands. The old dude is surprisingly strong! BEEP BEEP BEEP Great. Now the heart-rate machine is going a lot faster. That can''t be good. He scribbles something and hands the pad back to me. I''m not deaf, you little dope. Talk to me. I laugh in spite of myself. Of course. Duh. "Yes, uh, sir ... I''m Ted." I feel a little weird introducing myself, since he knows who I am, but since I don''t remember him, it feels like the right thing to do. And I''m pretty sure he seems like a "sir." The old man writes some more. He''s writing with more energy now. You got big. Do you still like playing games? "What games do you mean, sir?" I ask. Kissing games. What th--? "Uh, no, sir," I begin. "I don''t enjoy kissing games. That is, I''ve never played them. Maybe I would enjoy them if I did. I mean, you never know about something until you try it, right?" I''m babbling now. Trying to look casual, I lean against something, then realize it''s a pole holding some fluid going into my great-uncle (or maybe coming out of him--hard to tell). Gross. I attempt to cross my legs, but I dare anyone to try to do it while wearing these ICU snot-green-colored clown pants they made me wear over my jeans to come in here. It''s not so simple. So my leg sort of hovers half hoisted. Meanwhile, Great-Uncle Ted is scribbling away. I know you like computer games, you little twerp. I just wanted to see your face. I laugh, and I see a hint of a smile under all the machinery. You like the ones where you shoot people? "I''m not allowed to play those," I say, which is the truth. I didn''t ask if you were allowed to. I asked if you liked them. I smile and nod. This guy is pretty sharp. "Um ... yeah, I play them sometimes." Great-Uncle Ted looks at me with an expression I can''t make out. A lot of fun, huh? "I guess." I shrug. I hope that''s the only way you ever have to shoot and kill a man. The other way is a lot less fun. "You''ve killed a man?" I try to ask casually, but it kind of comes out in a squeak. Not my most macho moment, but give me a break, I wasn''t ready for this. Quite a few, yes. What did Uncle Ted do before he retired? I wonder what sort of professions call for killing men. Or more precisely, "quite a few" men. Was he a soldier? A hit man? Let''s talk about something else. Why do you like these games so much? I''m happy to move on. "I don''t think the shooting games are all that--and that''s the truth. It''s more something to do with my friends when we hang out. What I really like is what are called escape-the-room games." Tell me about them. Sure, why not? "They''re kind of puzzles, where you''re stuck in a room and have to figure a way out." Great-Uncle Ted''s eyes survey the space around him. There''s only one way to escape this room. "Well, I don''t agree," I say eagerly, standing up to look around. "There are all sorts of exits, if you look carefully. Not just the door. There''s that window. You could tie your sheets together and climb down there, or maybe there''s an air-conditioning duct--" TAP TAP TAP. My brilliant analysis is interrupted by the sound of my great-uncle''s pencil tapping loudly on the pad to get my attention. I was actually referring to dying, Ted. Try to keep up. I sit down, deflated. "I guess I didn''t think of that," I say honestly, "because you seem so alive." Great-Uncle Ted does his best to roll his eyes. Don''t bother sucking up to a dying man, Ted. You any good at these room games? "Never seen a game I couldn''t solve or beat. I''m always the top scorer--that means I''ve solved them quicker than anyone else. I guess that makes me the best," I say, before realizing how obnoxious it sounds. "That sounds like bragging. Sorry." You ever heard of Dizzy Dean? Okay, that''s a little random. But old people do that sometimes. The name does sound kind of familiar, but I can''t place it. I shake my head. One of the best pitchers in the history of baseball. When you go home, look up what he said about bragging. Great-Uncle Ted settles back onto his pillow. He''s clearly tired. I stare out the window, watching the headlights of the traffic below making patterns on the ceiling. "Yeah. That''s about the one thing I am good at," I say softly, almost to myself. I hear scratching, and he''s up and writing more. Don''t ever sell yourself short, Ted. Your mother says you''re very smart. I nod my head and laugh. "Yeah, I know, I just don''t ''apply myself.'' She''s always saying that. Lila''s the smart one." Lila is my big sister, the bane of my existence. Lila the straight-A student, Lila the president of the student body. Lila, who got the highest Board scores in La Purisma High''s history. Lila, who gave the most beautifully written senior address at her graduation, currently crushing it in her freshman year at Harvard. I mean, seriously. Why even try to compete with that? Your mother told me you''re smarter than your sister. You just don''t know it. Oh, snap! I hope there''s a burn unit at Harvard, because Lila just got smoked. Big-time! I''m starting to like Great-Uncle

Product Details

Author
Denis Markell
Pages
320
Publisher
Random House USA Inc
Year
2017
ISBN-10
1101931906
ISBN-13
9781101931905
Format
Paperback
Subtitle
A Novel
Country of Publication
United States
Publication Date
2017-09-20
Language
English
Audience
Children/Juvenile