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Monday, January 10, 2011

Book Review: Hacking Timbuktu by Stephen Davies

Hacking Timbuktu by Stephen Davies
Buy Hacking Timbuktu by Stephen Davies

Hacking Timbuktu
by Stephen Davies

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN-10: 0-547-39016-5
ISBN-13: 978-0-547-39016-1
Publication Date: November, 2010
List Price: $16.00

Review: Gigantic amounts of gold, a mysterious clue about where it's hidden, and an extremely brave thief. Does this intrigue you? This is only a glimpse of what Hacking Timbuktu is about. Stephen Davies has written a brilliant novel about stealing, hacking, parkour, and chasing. This non-series book focuses on the characters Danny Temple and Omar (Grimps) Dupont as they go on many thrill-seeking adventures.

Tons of gold has been stolen by Akonio Dolo. Several members of KOAD or the Knights of Akonio Dolo have unsuccessfully been trying to recover the hidden gold for many years. Then, pro praceurs Danny and Omar attempt to get the treasure, but the only clues left are number squares. Unfortunately, they have been taken from the Timbuktu computer by Moktar Hasim, the leader of KOAD. One of their journeys leads them to meet the Dogon street boys who play a strong part in helping them travel safely through the caves. After traveling around through many adventures, Danny eventually thinks the stash of gold has been hidden in a cave where the Dogon bury their dead. As he explores the cave, he stumbles upon a secret door that reveals something that instantly changes Danny's mood.

Stephen Davies does not disappoint us in his writing of this novel. The vividly described action makes you feel like you're actually participating in everything that happens in the story. Each of Danny and Omar's exciting adventures help lead the reader to the ending. Every adventure they experience keeps the reader on the edge of their seat wanting to find out what they will do next. Stephen Davies wraps up the story brilliantly with an unexpected ending in a way no one could have guessed. There are many different aspects of the book which most people can relate to such as gymnastics, action, history and battle. One thing I didn't enjoy was, considering how frequently the boys travelled, it was unclear as to exactly what country they were in at times. Also, French and Arabic terms and phrases are used throughout the book. Some examples of these are salam alaykum (an Arabic greeting) and mon ami (french for my friend). I recommend this book to anyone age 11 or older because of the novel's in-depth adventures and use of different languages. I rate this book a strong 9 out of 10.

Review written by Sahil (6th grade student).

We would like to thank Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing a copy of Hacking Timbuktu for this review.

Have you read Hacking Timbuktu? How would you rate it?

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