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Code Dog

Timmy, Beth and Arthur want to find the missing 200 year old Time Capsule. But it’s been moved from it’s official burying spot and the only clues to its new whereabouts are in code on a map in their old 3rd grade teacher’s freezer. They are in fifth grade now, but they are still friends with their favorite teacher.

Their teacher was searching for the Time Capsule and broke her hip. Now, she’s in the nursing home, awaiting surgery. Timmy agrees to take care of their teacher’s dog until she’s well. It’s up  to Timmy, Beth and Arthur to solve the clues and find the Time Capsule. They also have a science project to complete and they are writing songs for their band.

Timmy discovers that his teacher’s dog is friends with the homeless man in the woods. And the man who runs the nursing home is a crook, trying to make money from an empty diamond mine. He’s also trying to find the Time Capsule.

Whoever finds the Time Capsule will win $1000. If Timmy, Beth and Arthur don't find the Capsule, they may learn the town's deepest secret.

Plot/Idea: 6 out of 10
Originality: 8 out of 10
Prose: 8 out of 10
Character/Execution: 7 out of 10
Overall: 7.25 out of 10


Plot: Code Dog is an adventurous, warm, and age-appropriate story. Due to its many twists, turns, and simultaneous plot lines, there are moments of confusion; readers may struggle to determine which details are important. A number of plot lines are left unresolved as other new ones emerge, while occasional moments may strain believability. 

Prose: The prose is mainly clear and entertaining for the target readership, though there is sometimes a lack of cohesion between chapters.

Originality: Code Dog is about many different things, but the treasure hunt motif and dog who can communicate in Morse Code make for a charming and unique kids book.

Character/Execution: The dynamic between the characters is charming, but readers get more about what they do than what they think or feel. The cast faces immense danger, adventure, and excitement (someone even tries to kill Timmy! and their beloved teacher dies), but their emotional reactions to the events can sometimes come across as blunted. 

Blurb: Three best friends race to find a time capsule that holds an important secret before it falls into the wrong hands while also dealing with a mysterious monster, homework assignments, and band practice.

Date Submitted: April 21, 2023