The Secret Code Book is a fun book that I'll be sharing with my seven year old this week. What boy (or even girl) doesn't like to play secret agent? The Cruise Director is just at the right age to enjoy projects such as this. And with the weather forecast looking dismal for the week here in Orange Cone County, Ohio, this will help keep hands and minds busy.
There are nineteen different chapters that give a brief history, example and explanation of a code project. The projects range from the easy to master codes like the chapter on zigzag writing. The secret agent is given a series words (each separated by a dash) that seem to be meaningless like this: NTSFUIE - OEOJBLE. To figure out the code, he or she must put the second word below the first and slightly to the right, like this:
N T S F U I Eand then the agent draws a zig zag line from the first letter of the first line down to the first letter of the second line, back up to the second letter in the first line, down to the second letter of the second line and so on. Were you able to figure out the message? No surprise here, it's
O E O J B L E
O E O J B L E
NOTES OF JUBILEE
Clever, huh? And just the right kind of secret code to have in your arsenal when you are just starting out as a secret agent.
More challenging codes are included in the chapters on the High Seas Code, Hieroglyphs and Morse Code. These are definitely for the more ambitious crowd. There is a helpful glossary, an answer key to the book's many example codes, and a couple of code buster press-outs to help decipher and create your own codes.
We found our code book at a thrift shop, but you can find your own Secret Code book by clicking here.