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Top Secret

Top Secret

A Handbook of Codes, Ciphers and Secret Writing

Illustrated by Jenna LaReau

Edited by Paul B. Janeczko


Top Secret

About the Book

"The author's upbeat, positive tone is refreshing and his enthusiasm about his topic is contagious." — School Library Journal (starred review)

Pssst! Do you know the difference between a code and a cipher? Can you tell a St. Cyr slide from a Cardano grille? Did you know that the discovery of a substitution cipher caused Mary Queen of Scots to lose her head? Don’t look now, but packed into this practical field guide is everything a young person needs to know about the art of concealment — making and breaking codes, mastering cipher systems, and experimenting with secret writing. Offering plenty of hands-on practice sessions, tips for creating a code-making kit, sidebars on secret codes in history, and an amusing pair of spies to illustrate techniques, Paul B. Janeczko’s tantalizing Top Secret won’t stay a secret for long. Back matter includes suggestions for further reading, an author’s note, an answer key, and an index.

Product Details

On sale: April 11, 2006
Age: 9-12 years
Grade: Grades 4-7
Page count: 144 Pages
ISBN: 9780763629724

Author Bio



The author's upbeat, positive tone is refreshing and his enthusiasm about his topic is contagious.
—School Library Journal (starred review)

Thoroughly engrossing.

Janeczko gives aspiring codemakers and codebreakers everything they need for staging their own information exchanges. . . . Fascinating historical anecdotes keep things lively, as do LaReau's stylish black-and-white illustrations.
—Booklist (starred review)