January is National Puzzle Month. In our house we do a lot of jigsaw puzzles (usually one a week), but we also like logic puzzles and "thinking" games (sudoku, Mastermind, chess, etc.). As big readers we're quite fond of fiction with challenging puzzles to solve. Here are some books and/or series that will encourage readers put on their thinking caps. Also included are links to related puzzling resources.
The Puzzling World of Winston Breen by Eric Berlin - Winston sees puzzles everywhere. Imagine his dismay when he gives his sister a box for her birthday, only to learn that it has a secret compartment containing four wood sticks with puzzle clues. Readers will solve puzzles right along with Winston and his sister Katie as they try to solve the mystery. The sequel to this book, The Potato Chip Puzzles, is also highly entertaining.
- Download puzzles from the Winston Breen books
- Check out the Winston Breen puzzle blog
- Play games for the gifted at the Mysterious Benedict Society site.
- Download and print some logic challenges.
- Get everyone involved and download the Family Reading Guide.
- Calder carries a set of pentominoes in his pocket at all times, so be sure to print your own set to use while reading this one!
- Play pentominoes online.
- You can get great paper at Origami Corner.
- Try making this origami crane.
- Here are directions on folding an origami frog. You can also try this origami math lesson which includes a "fabulous frog" reproducible.
- If you have trouble reading origami directions in print, try following along with the videos on this site.
No shout-out to The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin?!?ReplyDelete
This is great stuff, Tricia. I LOVED puzzles of all sorts when I was a kid. I read Winston Breen in large part as a gift to my 10-year-old self.ReplyDelete
Thanks you for sharing about National Puzzle Month -- I did not know about it. I will be pulling those books you mentioned for my kids to think about and read.ReplyDelete
I'm a sucker for puzzles, also!
What a GREAT list of books and accompanying resources! I'm a big fan of both the MBS series and Blue Balliett's books (and the Westing Game, as one of your readers commented). Can't wait to share them with my children; the oldest has just read the first MBS and really enjoyed it.ReplyDelete
Now I need to find the others you suggested!
These are some of my favorites too. Nice collection here!ReplyDelete
I didn't read the first Winston Breen book, but I loved the second one. The kids won't leave it on the shelves.ReplyDelete
Oh, I love puzzles and mysteries (but don't read enough of them) These look like great suggestions! Thanks for the recs.ReplyDelete
We are huge Benedict Society fans in this house. And my 14yo has been after me to read Chasing Vermeer & others by that author.ReplyDelete
You've reminded me that I keep meaning to take a look at Winston Breen (so late to the party!)--thanks.
LOL and yikes! I used my Typepad login for the comment above, and it has turned me into an impenetrable code! Appropriate for this post on puzzles, I suppose... ;) Well, the answer to the cipher is "Melissa Wiley." Hee.ReplyDelete
What a fabulous themed post - brava!ReplyDelete
Genius post! So much good stuff here. Forwarding the link on to my librarian friends. These would make some great library lessons this month.ReplyDelete
Hi, Tricia! Great ideas and we are a puzzle loving family. From actual 500 piece puzzles to our favorite COLORKU...like Sudoku, but with colored balls. It's quite the puzzle and makes your head really hurt.ReplyDelete
As far as books go, we're listening to Chasing Vermeer and are totally enagaged with it! Another title I would suggest it The Gollywhopper Games by Jody Feldman. That book is FILLED with puzzles and a serious brain workout. If you loved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, it's that in a modern day setting with the puzzle feel.
Off to get out a good puzzle!
Also fun is Punished! by David Lubar. He addresses palindromes, anagrams and other forms of wordplay, which are often aspects of puzzles.ReplyDelete
I should mention also that Eric Berlin and others (including my husband) have just finished the annual MIT Mystery Hunt, a puzzling extravaganza. =)
Ditto to adding The Westing Game! And maybe our newest Newbery winner, When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, which is a great puzzlebox of a book. Thanks for the super list!ReplyDelete