Cracking the code isn't all it's cracked up to be in this scavenger hunt adventure from a Coretta Scott King Honor-winning author.

“Delivers a truly fresh mystery — along with a heist, some heartbreak, some unforgettable characters and plenty of laser tag.” —The New York Times Book Review


Chester Keene takes great comfort in his routines. Afterschool Monday to Thursday is bowling, and Friday, the best of days, is laser tag! But Chester has one other very special thing—he gets secret spy messages from his dad, who must be on covert government assignments, which is why Chester has never met him.

Then one day, Chester’s classmate, Skye, approaches him with a clue. They’ve been tasked with a complex puzzle-solving mission. Skye proves to be a useful partner and good company, even if her free-wheeling ways are disruptive to Chester’s carefully built schedule.

As Chester and Skye get closer to their final clue, they discover the key to their spy assignment: they have to stop a heist! But cracking this code may mean finding out things are not always what they seem.
★ "Magoon makes space for and celebrates the sensitive and solitary middle-grade readers who are happiest flying under the radar." —Shelf Awareness, starred review

"Engrossing and heartwarming; explores belonging, love, and forgiveness in families and friendships." —Kirkus Reviews

"A wacky adventure that toes the line between playful fantasy and ­deep-rooted emotional journey." —School Library Journal