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The Insane Riddle, Code, and Secret Math Book: Riddle Busting for the Active Mind!

Tommy Reddicks & Madeline Reddicks

Pages: 300
ISBN: 978-145752-863-7
List Price: 27.95
Available: May 2014
Edition: Perfectbound

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The Insane Riddle, Code, and Secret Math Book was designed to bring out the inner genius in all of us. Whether simple or hard, riddles immediately engage the mind. This fun process of word play requires the reader to call on prior knowledge, word meaning, and context clues in order to sort out each mental puzzle. This work is a stimulating hook for the brain with adults, and a great educational tool for young learners. What makes this book unique is the addition of codes, ciphers, and mathematics. If the reader wants to know the answer to the riddle, they must take the scrambled numbers, letters, or symbols after the riddle, and decode or decipher them using mathematics. This process is achievable and addictive for anyone ages 7-70+, and is sure to grab the attention of all those who have a curiosity and passion for language arts! The riddles and codes in this book are broken into four levels. The first level involves an original set of simple riddles needing very little background knowledge to comprehend. These riddles connect to answer keys that require very simple mathematics. As the levels increase, the riddles require more knowledge and vocabulary for comprehension, and the answer keys demand increased mathematical complexity. The final two levels (Level III, and IV) in the book utilize an original set of Quirk Codes, Caesar Shifts, an original Slider Code, and an original Shift-Up Code. While some of these codes and ciphers require no mathematics, answers require recall, number sense, and spatial sense for conversion. These codes and ciphers can quickly become fun and handy tools for those wishing to delve into the art of cryptology. For the riddle-making enthusiast, there are multiple blank riddle and code-making worksheets included. These allow creative minds to make their own original riddles, codes, or ciphers based on the Western English alphabet. All blank worksheets can be reproduced with unlimited permission of the author. Each riddle worksheet is formatted to help guide the author and focus the structure. The riddle worksheet also contains a section for name, date, key #, and distractor picture so that they can be used in the classroom. The code making worksheets are set up in similar fashion, and include a blank matrix aligned to the alphabet so that authors can create within a set structure. While it may prove difficult to ascertain a direct relationship between this book and increases in reading or mathematics aptitude, there can be no doubt that this process engages readers in a progressive method of academically structured reading and mathematics practice. With the average US print material (book, magazine, newspaper, web article, etc.) written between a third and fifth grade reading level, the riddles found here are designed to align with the conceptual reading ability of the average 7 – 12 year old (approximately 2nd – 6th Grade). This book was similarly designed for alignment to academic standards for ages 7-12, and all Common Core State Standard Alignments for these grade levels are included at the end of the book.

Madeline Reddicks:
Born in Seattle, Washington, Madeline Reddicks (daughter of Tommy Reddicks) lives in Penzance, Cornwall, UK. Madeline has always had a passion for language, literacy, and linguistics. As a child, she developed an early love for codes and ciphers, and always kept a book of codes by her side. Madeline has an on going fascination with artistic forms of language expression. She is drawn to the beauty of symbolism, especially within Kanji, Manga, and Anime.

“As a child, riddles and codes were my passion- I had a small, shiny blue book wherein I would write all sorts of coded phrases and clever puzzles. I felt like a super-spy! My favourite code was, and still is ‘Pig Pen’, probably because it looked so abstract, so when I was smaller, I thought I was a genius for knowing it off by heart! As the life of a spy began to become a little more commonplace for me, I went in search of a new word game, something even more confounding to amaze all my friends. It was then that I discovered riddles. What could be more perfect? My first riddle was the famous riddle of the Sphinx, and I felt so cool for knowing it! This was also the start of a whole new world for me; what started me off on my journey to becoming the book lover I am today!”

There’s no doubt where Madeline stands with word games and how important they are for children. She feels games are a sure-fire way to get children interested in learning something new. Everyone knows just how important English and Math skills are, and Madeline believes the best way to encourage learning is to make it fun! “There are so many benefits of word games, they’re fun, they increase both vocabulary and spelling ability, and keep the brain healthy and well exercised, regardless of age.” Madeline finds the math functionality of the riddle to be a brilliant way to ensure a well-rounded educational challenge. She finds that tackling these problems can be seen as enjoyable and rewarding, and a great self-motivating tool for tuning up the mind.

Tommy Reddicks:
The father of Madeline Reddicks, Tommy Reddicks is a musician, author, and school administrator. Tommy was born in Mesa, AZ and lives in Indianapolis, IN, USA. Tommy has always had a flair for creativity, and taught music for fourteen years in public, private, and charter schools. As a school principal, he continually faces the challenge of engaging today’s youth.

“As a school principal, I began adding a weekly riddle to the morning announcements, offering small prizes for the students who guessed the answer. At first I just stole riddles from the Internet, but my students soon figured me out and started surfing online for the answers. So, I realized I needed to begin writing my own riddles.”

Growing up in Wyoming, Tommy relied on a strong imagination and a natural sense of improvisation on his way to degrees in Music Education and Administration. A student of perception, gaming, and strategy, Tommy is quietly competitive, and enjoys thinking outside the box. Beginning in 2002, Tommy began designing educational curriculum with a focus on innovations in cross-curricular connections. Tommy found early success publishing comprehensive units through the National Core Knowledge Foundation. In these units Tommy used strong content to teach other content areas. For instance, he utilized Gustav Holst’s The Planets Suite to teach Astronomy, Roman Mythology, Roman Numerals, and Literacy, and used the hook of the Black Plague to teach science, poetry, art, history, and music of the middle ages. After more than a decade of interdisciplinary development, Tommy has honed the craft of using the passion in a single discipline to teach all other disciplines. That method is part of the design of this book. By using the passion behind wordplay, connections to math, visual perception, comprehension, and vocabulary come together in a fun learning experience for all ages.

“I have watched students attack this riddle process with intensity. Children and adults alike are intuitively competitive when facing something needing a solution. Riddles, however take this concept one step further. They suggest an answer that “should” be easy, and lure one in to the rewarding process of self-discovery. And, once a reader gets a few riddle solutions under their belt, they’re hooked. I piloted this book with a variety of students at my school. I remember having a middle school student go at this reading and math process for 45 minutes without a second thought, and this was a student who couldn’t give his teacher 10-minutes of focus in any other setting.”

Tommy’s favourite cipher is Caesar’s Shift.