HomeBooks by AgeAges 4-8Can You Crack the Code?, by Ella Schwartz | Book Review
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Can You Crack the Code?, by Ella Schwartz | Book Review

The Children’s Book Review | April 29, 2019

Can You Crack the CodeCan You Crack the Code?: A Fascinating History of Ciphers and Cryptography

Written by Ella Schwartz

Illustrated by Lily Williams

Age Range: 7-10

Publisher: Bloomsbury (2019)

ISBN: 978-1-68119-514-8

What to Expect: History, STEM, Interactive

Did you know that Elgar, the composer of “Pomp and Circumstance”, also penned a cryptic cypher that has yet to be decoded?  Or that recruiters searching for female cryptographers before the attack on Pearl Harbor advertised in female colleges, asking for women who liked crossword puzzles and were not engaged to be married?  These fascinating facts and many like them are explored in Can You Crack the Code?, a new volume on the history and science of cryptography published by Bloomsbury and written by a professional government cryptographer.

Secret codes and private languages are irresistibly tempting for most kids, but they have also been an important tool for governments, organizations, and other communities throughout history and in an age when information equals power, the ability to code and decode data remains an important and valuable skill.  Can You Crack the Code? not only provides fascinating insight into the myriad ways that codes have been used and abused throughout history, but also provides a wealth of in-depth detail on how codes work, how they are cracked, and how they are used in the modern world.  The volume is filled with activities which encourage readers to practice making and breaking their own codes, and ends with the revelation that the volume itself contains a code – and a challenge to the reader to crack it.  Filled with fun as well as STEM-building interactivity, this book is sure to keep readers fascinated and stimulated.

Available Here: 

About the Author

Ella writes fiction and nonfiction books for young readers. She is always asking questions and trying to learn new things. The books she writes are for kids who are just as curious as she is.

In addition to writing books, Ella is a cybersecurity warrior interfacing with the U.S. federal government on strategic technology initiatives. She has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in engineering from Columbia University.

When she’s not working, writing, or training to run a marathon, she volunteers on outreach initiatives to promote women in science and improve science literacy.

Ella lives on Long Island, New York with her husband and three sons. Her favorite color is pink, but there is rarely anything pink in her house.

Visit Ella on her website, ellasbooks.com. Follow her on Twitter @ellaschwartz and Facebook facebook.com/EllaSchwartzAuthor/

About the Illustrator

Lily Williams grew up in Northern California, where she graduated with high distinction from California College of the Arts with a BFA in animation. Her books for children include If Sharks Disappeared and If Polar Bears Disappeared.

Williams seeks to inspire change in the world, engage audiences, and educate all ages in her practice of visual development, illustration, and animation. Her work can be seen in film, print, and classrooms around the world, and has been used to get legislation passed in the United States Senate.

Can You Crack the Code?, written by Ella Schwartz and illustrated by Lily Williams, was reviewed by Dr. Jen Harrison. Discover more books like Can You Crack the Code? by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with , , , and .

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Jen Harrison currently teaches English Composition and Composition Skills at East Stroudsburg University. She completed her PhD in Children's and Victorian Literature at Aberystwyth University in Wales, in the UK. There she also acted as an instructor teaching undergraduate courses on literature and literary theory, as well as further education courses on Children's Literature and Creative Writing. After a brief spell in administration, Jen then trained as a secondary school English teacher, and worked for several years teaching Secondary School English, working independently as a private tutor of English, and working in nursery and primary schools as a substitute teacher. After moving from the UK to the USA in 2016, Jen is very happy to have returned to higher education. Her current research focuses on three primary areas in the field of children’s literature: reader-writer relationships, thing-theory, and the supernatural; she is a reviewer for the International Research Society for the Study of Children’s Literature (IRSCL), as well as the Children's Book Review. Jen also writes an academic blog on Children's Literature, Worrisome Words: http://quantum.esu.edu/faculty/jharrison/. You can also find her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.harrison.73594

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