Middle Grade Summer Reading Bingo!

Are you up for a fun summer reading game? Join me (Jennifer Chambliss Bertman, the author of the Book Scavenger series) for a round of Middle Grade Summer Reading Bingo!

How to play is simple: Pick the books you want to read, and read them! Score a traditional bingo by reading a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal line of books. Or maybe you want to go for the “four corners” or “outside edge” bingo. Or, for the very ambitious, go for a “full house” and read them all!


Middle Grade Summer Reading Bingo is not just for kids; grownups can play too! Even if middle grade literature isn’t typically your thing, you might be surprised at how much you enjoy reading these stories. If you have kids in your life, this can be a great activity for bonding over books.


All titles are published in the United States, so they might not be as easy to find if you’re in another country, but everyone is welcome to participate no matter where you live.


Teachers, librarians, booksellers, book groups, kid lit enthusiasts, anyone looking for a community activity—feel free to share this activity with the readers in your life. To print out the Bingo board, you can find the PDF file here.


If you’d like a prize when you get a bingo, email me through my website with your bingo titles and a mailing address, and I will send you an assortment of bookmarks and stickers, while supplies last.


I’ve linked to all the titles on Bookshop, where you can learn more about each one. Purchasing books through Bookshop supports independent bookstores, but of course you don’t need to buy the books to participate in Book Cover Bingo. All titles should be available at your local library, and if one isn’t, consider asking your library to add it to their collection. (Many libraries have a form for requesting new titles, and will be happy to add books they know their patrons want to read.) Another idea is to form a group that will share the books with one another.


If you’re on social media, share your Bingo progess as you go along. Let people know about the books you love! Use the hashtag #MiddleGradeSummerReadingBingo so others can find the posts. Let’s make this a summer of celebrating reading, middle grade literature, and having fun with books!


New, from the author of the Book Scavenger series!

Hooray!!! Sisterhood of Sleuths is now available in paperback! I love this story, I love these characters, and I’m so excited it’s now in paperback and hoping that helps it reach more readers.

Sisterhood of Sleuths is a funny mystery about friendship, family, and was inspired by my love of Nancy Drew mysteries when I was a young, as well as the fascinating history behind the series and how it has endured for nearly 100 years. Yes, did you know that the iconic teenage sleuth is nearly 100 years old?!

The main character is Maizy, an aspiring film-maker who is working on a class project with her best friend, Izzy. For the class project, Maizy has written a screenplay called Shellfish Holmes about a lobster detective. But she and Izzy are having . . . creative differences, let’s say. And in general, Maizy is feeling like their friendship has been different—more strained—and she’s not really sure why. While she’s trying to navigate these things, she comes across a box of old Nancy Drew books and gets pulled into a mystery involving them that introduces her to the iconic teen sleuth and the history behind the Nancy Drew series.

It was a personal goal to write a “funny mystery” since I had just finished writing the first three Book Scavenger books, which do have funny moments and some quirky humor, but those are more intense mysteries with elements of danger and peril. The peril in Sisterhood of Sleuths is along the lines of being embarrassed in front of your classmates, or having a friend stop talking to you. So more realistic and relatable peril to the average young reader.

In the Sisterhood of Sleuths paperback, you’ll find the same wonderful interior illustrations by Vesper Stamper and author note and list of resources that are in the hardback, but you’ll also find a Reading Group Guide and a super special sneak peek at my next middle-grade novel, Back to Wonder. (Yes! I have a new book coming soon! It’s a mystery adventure set in 1985 about 3 children who come together to investigate something mysterious that arrives in their town, and then they go missing. Read the first four chapters at the end of Sisterhood of Sleuths!)

If you are a teacher or librarian and are reading Sisterhood of Sleuths with your class, or if your book group has chosen it as your next pick, I’m happy to do free virtual QA chats! Contact me through my website and we can set something up.

To celebrate the launch I was able to visit a number of independent bookstores to sign copies. There still might be some available at Linden Tree, Kepler’s, Books Inc., Hicklebee’s, The Reading Bug, Tattered Cover, A Second Star to the Right, or the Boulder Bookstore. Or order an unsigned copy through Bookshop.org or anywhere books are sold!

Gifting the Book Scavenger series? Here are some fun gift pairing ideas!

If you’re gifting the Book Scavenger series to someone for the holidays (or any time of year!) I’m always happy to send along a signed bookplate, bookmark, and stickers to include with your gift. Email me your request for a bookplate through the contact page on my website with your address and how you would like the bookplate personalized, and I will get it in the mail for you ASAP!

In my December 2023 newsletter, I pulled together a collection of ideas for gifts that would make a great pairing with the Book Scavenger series, as well as my other middle-grade novel, Sisterhood of Sleuths, and my picture book A Good Deed Can Grow. For descriptions and links to the items shared, you can read that newsletter here.




How Well Do You Know Book Scavenger?

Jennifer Chambliss Bertman, author of the Book Scavenger series, competes against a big fan of the series in this 25th episode of Author Fan Face-Off, hosted by author Steve Sheinkin and school librarian Stacey Rattner. How well would you have done with these Book Scavenger trivia questions?

Help Celebrate Book Scavenger’s Birthday!

Sunday, June 2, marks four years since Book Scavenger has been published!

Want to help celebrate Book Scavenger’s birthday? Here’s something easy you can do: Hide a book!

Any children’s book—it doesn’t have to be part of the Book Scavenger series. Chose a book you’d like to share with others!

Here’s what you do:

Once you’ve chosen the book you’d like to hide . . .

  1. Print out a game plate here.
  2. Get a tracking number for your book here.
  3. Write the tracking number on the game plate and secure that to your book.
  4. Put the book in a plastic bag to protect it.
  5. Pick a public hiding spot and hide your book.
  6. Submit a Hidden Book form.


That’s it! If your hiding spot is some place where people not playing the game might find the book, leave a friendly note asking for the book to be left alone unless they want to play the game. Something like this:

“Hi! This book is part of a game called Book Scavenger. Please leave me here if you don’t want to play the game. Someone will find me soon!”


When your hidden book post is on the Book Scavenger website, share it with others to celebrate Book Scavenger! Examples:

Happy birthday, Book Scavenger! To celebrate, I hid The Train of Lost Things by Ammi-Joan Paquette.

Book Scavenger is turning 4! To celebrate, I hid Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen by Debbi Michiko Florence.


If a book is hidden near you, go see if you can find it! If you do, fill out a “Found a Book” form so we can update the Hidden Book post.


Also, if you’ll be in the San Francisco Bay Area on June 9, please come celebrate Book Scavenger in person at Books Inc. in Palo Alto at 2:30! There will be games like Pin the Cowlick on James, you can pose as Emily and James in a Book Scavenger photo booth, and there will be more fun and games too!





Book Scavenger Map Puzzle!

If you pre-ordered a copy of The Alcatraz Escape then you should soon (or maybe already!) receive the Book Scavenger map I had designed by Curious City and illustrated by the talented Marty Braun. You will also discover on the map A PUZZLE!


Please submit your answer to the puzzle to me at fromthemixedupfiles@gmail.com by midnight PST on June 1, 2018. I will announce one randomly drawn winner to receive a $50 gift card to the bookstore of your choice in this space on June 2.

Congratulations to Brielle, the winner of the gift card!

Book Scavenger Events!


We’ll be playing games and talking books! It will be a lot of fun and I hope you can come if you will be near one of the following cities!