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In Code

You never know what's going to set off a flurry of activity. Around here lately it's a thin, used paperback that Junior's dad brought home from a library sale: The Usborne Book of Secret Codes (1997). It cost all of 50 cents.  Yesterday the three of us spent a good hour sending out important information, like "What would you like for dinner?,"  in pigpen code. 

Roman numerals aren't code exactly, but are certainly intriguing to some would-be spies. (As far as I can tell, these aren't taught in elementary schools any more. Hence, the intrigue.) Agent J. has studied David A. Adler's Fun with Roman Numerals (Holiday House, 2008), copying over numbers and making notes to himself. 

A printout of the Wikipedia entry on Morse code is well-used, too. I wouldn't be surprised if a homemade telegraph machine is in our future.


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Susan, has Junior seen Mac Barnett and Adam Rex's Brixton Brothers books? (Well, just one book so far. But I assume it's going to be a series.) It sounds like it would be right up his alley after all those codes!

Sarah. he's gotta check those out! Thanks for the tip.

My just received his Lego magazine, and it always includes a code to break. Which I have fun doing, even if he doesn't.

Ian, I didn't even know there was a Lego magazine! We should look for that. Thanks for the tip.

Yep, it is remarkable how inspiration can come from odd places. Another great idea sparker is digging through all the public domain books at Project Gutenberg. Some truly weird and wonderful things can be found in there -- and it's all free of copyright so those books can be quoted at will.

Isn't it so cool that something like Project Gutenberg exists? I keep meaning to look around there more.

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