Book Review: The Potato Chip Puzzles: The Puzzling World of Winston Breen
A Choose Your Own Review
You pick up The Potato Chip Puzzles, sequel to The Puzzling World of Winston Breen.
If you have read The Puzzling World of Winston Breen, go to blue.
If you have not read The Puzzling World of Winston Breen, go to green.
Having read The Puzzling World of Winston Breen, youâ€™re familiar with the characters and format of the book.
If you liked The Puzzling World of Winston Breen, go to orange.
If you didnâ€™t like The Puzzling World of Winston Breen, go to purple.
You have not read The Puzzling World of Winston Breen, but you are intrigued by this new installment. You read the first couple pages and learn that the titular Winston is a middle schooler and first-rate puzzle solver.
The story hits the ground running. After Winston helps solve a puzzle that enters his school in a one day, $50,000 puzzle contest sponsored by local snack food company owner Dimitri Simon, a team is assembled to take home the prize. Working together with math teacher Mr. Garvey and friends Mal and Jake, Winston is hopeful about their chances. The day arrives and the various schools begin to compete. The first team to solve the 6 puzzles Simon has scattered around town will win the giant check. Things start off on the wrong foot when Winstonâ€™s team promptly gets a flat tire. After they recover, it soon becomes clear that there is a saboteur. Who is this person, and which team does the cheater belong to? A simple puzzle contest takes on a whole new dimension.
While the storyline itself involves solving puzzles, there are also smaller brain-teasers thrown into the mix. The story doesnâ€™t depend on you solving them, but the answers are in the back for those who would like to give them a shot.
Overall, The Potato Chip Puzzles is a thoroughly entertaining read, even for people who have not read the first book. You’re looking forward to what Winston Breen does next.
You enjoyed the original, so you dive into this new installment. You soon discover that the elements that you loved in the first book (fast-paced plot, mystery, puzzles everywhere) make a welcome return. When you finish the book, you decide that The Potato Chip Puzzles absolutely lives up to its predecessor, and are looking forward to recommending it to friends.
You didnâ€™t like the original, but you decide to read the first few pages anyway. After learning that The Potato Chip Puzzles has many of the same elements of the first book, you put it back on the shelves. Replacing the book triggers a trap door in the floor and you find yourself locked in a room where Milli Vanilliâ€™s Blame it on the Rain is played on repeat.
Also reviewed by A Patchwork of Books.
Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.
About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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