This story is set in New York City…but it’s not the same NYC you & I know & love. Set in modern-day, it has inventions we have yet to see in the real world: cobblestones & windows that absorb light, only to be stored in batteries that power the city. Mechanical marvels that help keep the city clean: metal beetles tidy up the streets, snails scrub windows & dragonflies dry clothes, just to name a few. But this city also has a marvelous secret, created by the same people, a brother & sister duo, who long ago built all these wonders. And now, it’s up to another brother & sister duo to solve it. They must if they want to save their home…& quite possibly, the entire city itself. Filled with codes, ciphers & puzzles that challenge the mind, this book hooked & reeled me in, utterly & completely.— Susan
"The pleasures of the novel go far beyond the crackling, breathless plot and the satisfaction of watching the puzzle fall into place. The book is shot through with humor, both laugh-out-loud and subtle." --New York Times Book Review
From National Book Award finalist and Printz Award winner Laura Ruby comes an epic alternate history series about three kids who try to solve the greatest mystery of the modern world: a puzzle and treasure hunt laid into the very streets and buildings of New York City.
It was 1798 when the Morningstarr twins arrived in New York with a vision for a magnificent city: towering skyscrapers, dazzling machines, and winding train lines, all running on technology no one had ever seen before. Fifty-seven years later, the enigmatic architects disappeared, leaving behind for the people of New York the Old York Cipher--a puzzle laid into the shining city they constructed, at the end of which was promised a treasure beyond all imagining. By the present day, however, the puzzle has never been solved, and the greatest mystery of the modern world is little more than a tourist attraction.
Tess and Theo Biedermann and their friend Jaime Cruz live in a Morningstarr apartment--until a real estate developer announces that the city has agreed to sell him the five remaining Morningstarr buildings. Their likely destruction means the end of a dream long held by the people of New York. And if Tess, Theo, and Jaime want to save their home, they have to prove that the Old York Cipher is real. Which means they have to solve it.