Middle Grade Madness | Click Here to Start by Denis Markell


Middle Grade Madness will be a new feature here at Lilybloombooks, that showcases Middle Grade books! Reviews, Interviews, Guest posts and Giveaways.

Join the Madness!


I’m excited to share with you Click Here to Start, a new Middle Grade novel by Denis Markell.

Before I share my thoughts, read a little bit about the book —

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I received this book for free from The Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Middle Grade Madness | Click Here to Start by Denis MarkellClick Here to Start by Denis Markell
Published by Delacorte Press. on July 19th, 2016
Genres: Adventure, Middle Grade
Format: Hardcover
Source: The Publisher
Buy on Amazon

What if playing video games was prepping you to solve an incredible real-world puzzle and locate a priceless treasure?

Twelve-year-old Ted Gerson has spent most of his summer playing video games. So when his great- uncle dies and bequeaths him all the so-called treasure in his overstuffed junk shop of an apartment, Ted explores it like it’s another level to beat. And to his shock, he finds that eccentric Great-Uncle Ted actually has set the place up like a real-life escape-the-room game!

Using his specially honed skills, Ted sets off to win the greatest game he’s ever played, with help from his friends Caleb and Isabel. Together they discover that Uncle Ted’s “treasure” might be exactly that—real gold and jewels found by a Japanese American unit that served in World War II. With each puzzle Ted and his friends solve, they get closer to unraveling the mystery—but someone dangerous is hot on their heels, and he’s not about to let them get away with the fortune.


So, what’s it about?

12-year-old Ted must use his knowledge of puzzle games, with the help of his friends, to find the treasures within his great uncle’s apartment after his death. Unraveling the mystery behind his uncle’s life, the treasure they find and the possibility that there are people out there looking for the same treasure, too!

Why did I pick it up?

My oldest son loves video games – and this book was pitched for reluctant readers. Since I’ve had a hard time finding books to hold his interest, I thought this was the perfect book for him; hoping he’d be able to relate to the main character that loves games, and using those skills in real life. And it worked! We actually shared an inside joke about the book the other day and it was great!

Describe the book in 5 words

Hilarious. Mysterious. Puzzling. Adventurous. Educational.

Who was your favorite character, and why?

Ted, obviously. I loved his wit and snark. But I also liked Caleb and Isabel, too! These three are so fun together and their differences make them such a great team!

Who would LOVE Click Here to Start?

Click Here to Start is a wide appeal for all ages, even adults. It’s authentic enough for a middle grade to relate to but not so that it’s left unenjoyable for adults. I had fun figuring out the puzzles and how Ted came to the conclusions that he did when working them out. It’s also educational with the facts about the 442nd Infantry Regiment and other facts about WWII.

Are there Illustrations? 

No – not really! However, each chapter page has a cute digital looking icon related to what the chapter is about.

Overall thoughts

I really enjoyed it! It’s a quick read full of mystery, snark, wit, friendship, and an educational aspect too. I recommend it for all ages!

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Tell me your thoughts

  • Have you read Click Here to Start? Does it sound like something you’d enjoy?


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