Estimated read time: 5 min read

One Sentence Summary

A young boy embarks on a thrilling treasure hunt through a virtual game world, facing challenges and uncovering secrets along the way.


"Click Here to Start" by Denis Markell is a thrilling adventure novel that combines elements of mystery, history, and puzzle-solving. The story follows twelve-year-old Ted, an avid gamer, as he embarks on a quest to solve a real-life mystery left behind by his great-uncle. With the help of his friends, Caleb and Isabel, Ted must decipher clues, unravel secrets, and outsmart dangerous enemies to uncover a hidden treasure.

Brief Synopsis

The story is set in the small town of St. Petersburg, where Ted lives with his parents. Ted's great-uncle died unexpectedly, leaving behind a mysterious puzzle box and a book titled "The Lost Treasure of Pergamon." Intrigued, Ted starts to explore the puzzle box, only to discover that it is a gateway to a virtual reality game called "Archimedes' Maze." As Ted and his friends begin playing the game, they soon realize that it is not just a game but a real-life adventure that will lead them to an actual treasure.

Main Characters

Character NameDescription
TedA twelve-year-old gamer and the protagonist of the story. He is curious, resourceful, and determined to solve the mystery left by his great-uncle.
CalebTed's best friend and gaming partner. He is known for his quick thinking and problem-solving skills.
IsabelA new student at Ted's school who becomes a valuable member of the team. She is intelligent, observant, and has a knack for deciphering codes.
Great-UncleTed's deceased great-uncle, who was a renowned archaeologist and left behind a mysterious puzzle box and a book containing clues to a hidden treasure.

Summary of Different Story Points Over Chapters

Chapter 1-4: The Discovery

Ted stumbles upon the puzzle box and the book "The Lost Treasure of Pergamon" in his great-uncle's study. Intrigued by the mystery, Ted starts playing the virtual reality game "Archimedes' Maze" and realizes that it holds the key to unlocking the hidden treasure. He enlists the help of Caleb and Isabel, and they begin deciphering clues and solving puzzles.

Chapter 5-8: The Quest Begins

Ted, Caleb, and Isabel embark on their quest to find the lost treasure of Pergamon. They travel to various locations, including ancient ruins and museums, following the clues left by Ted's great-uncle. Along the way, they encounter dangerous adversaries who are also after the treasure.

Chapter 9-12: Unraveling the Mystery

As Ted and his friends delve deeper into the puzzle, they uncover hidden secrets and discover the true nature of the treasure they seek. They must use their wits and gaming skills to outsmart their enemies and overcome various obstacles.

Chapter 13-16: The Final Showdown

The stakes get higher as Ted and his friends get closer to the treasure. They must navigate treacherous traps and solve the most challenging puzzles yet. With time running out, they face their greatest adversary and must rely on their teamwork and ingenuity to secure the treasure.

Main Events

  1. Ted discovers the puzzle box and the book left by his great-uncle.
  2. Ted, Caleb, and Isabel start playing the virtual reality game "Archimedes' Maze."
  3. The trio follows clues to various locations, including ancient ruins and museums.
  4. They encounter dangerous adversaries who are also after the treasure.
  5. Ted and his friends unravel the mystery behind the treasure and its true nature.
  6. They face their greatest adversary in the final showdown.
  7. Ted and his friends secure the treasure and uncover its significance.

Themes and Insights

Friendship and Teamwork

Throughout the story, the importance of friendship and teamwork is highlighted. Ted, Caleb, and Isabel rely on each other's strengths and support each other in solving the puzzles and overcoming challenges. The book emphasizes the idea that working together can lead to success and the importance of trust and communication in any team.

Curiosity and Problem-Solving

The story encourages readers to embrace curiosity and engage in problem-solving. Ted's insatiable curiosity leads him to uncover the puzzle box and embark on an exciting adventure. The book showcases the power of critical thinking, observation, and perseverance in solving complex puzzles and unraveling mysteries.

History and Treasure Hunting

"Click Here to Start" incorporates elements of history and treasure hunting, sparking an interest in these subjects among readers. The story introduces historical facts and locations, making learning about history engaging and exciting. It also ignites the imagination and sense of adventure associated with treasure hunting.

Reader's Takeaway

"Click Here to Start" is an action-packed adventure that combines gaming, mystery, and history in a captivating way. The book encourages readers to embrace curiosity, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. It is a thrilling read that keeps readers engaged from start to finish, with unexpected twists and turns that will leave them eager to uncover the next clue. It is a perfect choice for middle-grade readers who enjoy puzzles, gaming, and exciting quests.


"Click Here to Start" by Denis Markell is a must-read for anyone who enjoys thrilling adventures, puzzles, and virtual reality gaming. The book's engaging plot, relatable characters, and emphasis on friendship and problem-solving make it a captivating and inspiring read. With its blend of mystery, history, and treasure hunting, "Click Here to Start" is a fantastic choice for young readers looking for an exciting and immersive adventure.

Click Here to Start FAQ

  1. What is the genre of 'Click Here to Start'?

    The genre of 'Click Here to Start' is mystery and adventure.

  2. Who is the author of 'Click Here to Start'?

    The author of 'Click Here to Start' is Denis Markell.

  3. What is the target audience for 'Click Here to Start'?

    The target audience for 'Click Here to Start' is middle grade readers (ages 8-12).

  4. What is the premise of 'Click Here to Start'?

    'Click Here to Start' follows a young boy named Ted who discovers an ancient treasure map in a hidden compartment of a puzzle box. He teams up with his friends to solve puzzles and uncover the treasure, all while facing dangerous challenges.

  5. Is 'Click Here to Start' part of a series?

    No, 'Click Here to Start' is a standalone novel.

  6. Are there any educational elements in 'Click Here to Start'?

    Yes, 'Click Here to Start' incorporates elements of coding, puzzles, and problem-solving, making it educational and engaging for young readers.

  7. What are some notable themes explored in 'Click Here to Start'?

    Some notable themes explored in 'Click Here to Start' include friendship, teamwork, perseverance, and the power of curiosity.

  8. Is there any humor in 'Click Here to Start'?

    Yes, 'Click Here to Start' features moments of humor that add lightness to the adventure.

  9. Has 'Click Here to Start' won any awards?

    Yes, 'Click Here to Start' was the winner of the 2018 Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery.

  10. Where can I purchase 'Click Here to Start'?

    You can purchase 'Click Here to Start' from online retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Book Depository, or from your local bookstore.