Cracking the Code: Spreading Rumors by Kris Yankee

crackingthecodeCracking the Code: Spreading Rumors

By Kris Yankee

168 Pages – Ages 9+

Published by Nelson Publishing & Marketing on December 15, 2012

Toby Karlson (A.K.A. TK) was a pretty popular guy. That is, until he accidentally “hip checked” an elderly secretary at school when he was pushed into a table. Toby is suddenly hated and made fun of by pretty much every other 5th grader because rumors start going around about the incident which says that it is all Toby’s fault. His best friend, Drew, hates him the most and wants nothing to do with Toby and Toby doesn’t understand why. Toby wants to get his reputation back. He sees a chance when the 5th graders go camping, but needs help. Toby gets help from Morgan, a super smart but very “nerdy” kid. How can Morgan help Toby? And what about the class bully, who hates Toby too? Will Toby ever get his reputation back?

This was a good book about friendship, the harm of rumors and life as a fifth-grader. I do like the “code”. It is a series of rules Toby lives by and the “code” is the title of each chapter (like  “CODE 1 – No Matter What, Don’t Hip Check Little Old Ladies” – “CODE 2 – Sometimes Taking One for the Team Means Putting Your Head in a Toilet”). I like Uncle Jack, TK’s guardian (TK is an orphan). He’s pretty cool and sensible and gives TK good advice. I also like Morgan. There are a lot of references to ice hockey in the book which is fun for boys, but you don’t have to be a hockey fan to like it. Ms. Yankee also put some great humor in the story too. The word “cr**” appears a couple of times in the book. I don’t think it needs to be there, but other than that the book is a clean read. I recommend this book to kids 10+.

I give “Cracking the Code” 4 out of 5 bookworms.fourbooks

This is the second book by Ms. Yankee I have reviewed. She also wrote “Saving Redwind: A Wallpaper Adventure” (See my review HERE), a great fantasy adventure that I really enjoyed. To learn more about Ms. Yankee and her books, please visit her website by clicking HERE!

Categories: Age 9+

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25 replies

  1. I like his “Code” chapter titles. I was just brainstorming some creative approaches for this last night. I haven’t come up with anything that clever yet.

    I finally finished “Les Miserables.” Whew! Long, tough read! I think I’ll tackle “Wuthering Heights” as my next classic. I love that I can get all these free on Kindle. 🙂

    • YAY! Congrats! Why not 3 Musketeers? .’/ (crooked confused guy) I want to try “War and Peace” when I get older (I just notice that the name of one of the characters from the movie Sky High is named Warren Peace… Yeah, off topic…). The “Codes” are very unique! “)

  2. Sounds a fun and positive read, but what does ‘hip checked’ mean, Erik?

  3. This looks like an interesting book– I’ll have to take a look. You asked about following by e mail– I added a widget at the very bottom of my blog if you want to sign up.

  4. Yes, I also like the “code” chapters. But, I’m with Joanna, what is “hip checking” and why would the kids react the way they do especially if he was pushed?

    • My mom told me that I didn’t explain the book well in my review before I posted it 🙁 I should have listened! I told Miss Marple what a hip check is and the reason why rumors were started is because the kid that caused all the trouble and pushed TK didn’t want to admit he was the cause of it all and blamed TK. I hope that helps! Thanks Ms. Tilton! 🙂

  5. Sounds good, Erik! I like the codes/chapter titles! 🙂

  6. Codes and stopping rumours sounds awesome, Erik! I hate the idea of one of my kids ever having their head dunked in the loo. I hope I arm them with some cool ideas to get out of it if they are ever faced with that euw!

  7. Ice hockey is NOT just for boys, my friend (although I am not a fan). Eric, I am so happy you really review each book. You are an inspiration. Keep it up. Just remember, girls like sports too. (Me: baseball, golf, Ohio State football, and occasionally curling. We actually have a curling rink not far from where I live.)

  8. Code #1 is definitely a good start to keeping out of trouble. Code #1 for me would be Don’t eat goose poop. Darn it!

    Love and licks,

  9. Bullying is such a nightmare for children and parents and a child’s popularity at school is so important in shaping a future. Any book that tackles this is great. (I didn’t understand ‘hip-checking’ either!

  10. Hi Erik, I had the same question as Joanna, but I saw that you answered it above – interesting. Very Harriet the Spy too with the rumors and the things learned from the experience. Also not a fan of ice hockey but it’s good you pointed out that you don’t have to know the game to appreciate the book. Thanks for sharing this one.


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