As I wonder across the library on my quest to read a book from every shelf, I've found clunkers, gems, and everything in between. Well, actually I'm exaggerating a bit. I'm only on the B's of juvenile fiction, so my quest is barely started, but I've definitely read some books that I never would have found without this nonsensical plan. Sometimes that's a good thing, as in the book The Potato Chip Puzzles by Eric Berlin, which I mainly chose in the hopes that it would help boost my Where Am I Reading Challenge tally. Sadly, the setting is not specific enough to tell the state (I'm betting Connecticut, which I already have), but I had a good time reading about the puzzle-loving Winston and his buddies on their quest to win their school glory and funding though a puzzle based challenge.
There were plenty of puzzles scattered through the book, both for the contest the boys enter and ones they find or make up along the way. Each time the book warns you so you can either solve it yourself or get the answer (I did a mix of both), and I also enjoyed the moral dilemmas along the way -- how much should you help or hinder other teams? What if your team mates draw the lines differently? How much help can you accept? These puzzles don't feel forced by the text but natural problems caused by the story as it unfolds. I like this book enough to request Berlin's other books, and to put it aside for my fifth grader to read as soon as he catches up with his book club assignments.