Reviewed by Jean Hall for Readers' Favorite
Nice guys may finish last but it's hard to keep a good kid down. Kris Yankee in Cracking the Code: Spreading Rumors tells a delightful story of 11-year-old Toby Karlson who suffers from a bad reputation. Toby or TK lives with his Uncle Jack since his parents were killed in a car accident. Uncle Jack has a life code of conduct to help guide young Toby. One fateful day at the 6th grade orientation, Toby is pushed into the registration table and he makes old Mrs. Hadley fall on her bottom and lose her gray wig. Toby is wrongly blamed for "hip checking" Mrs. Hadley like in a rough and tumble hockey game. Toby is a nice guy and pretty down-to-earth if the truth is told. But malicious gossip and rumors turn Toby into an outcast.
Kris Yankee writes Toby's story in the first-person and she captures the realistic and humorous kid's point of view. There are experiences with the cool kids, nerds, barfing, moldy cheese breath, camping, canoeing, and the ebb and flow of friendships. Sometimes Toby feels as if he is the only kid in the world who has these kinds of problems. Cracking the Code: Spreading Rumors isn't just a life lesson but a fun experience. All in all, this story should be very entertaining for both kids and adults.
They even gave me a cool shiny sticker! It's pretty, isn't it?