Library Blog

First Chapters: Inspector Flytrap

Our First Chapters book this week is Inspector Flytrapthe first of three books in a series by Tom Angleberger.  The main character in this series is a Venus flytrap (yes, the carnivorous plant) who owns a detective agency where he solves “Big Deal Mysteries” with the help of his assistant, Nina the goat.  As you can guess, this involves one hilarious adventure after another.  

To listen to a librarian read the first chapter of Inspector Flytrap, please call 330-259-3394.  To read the rest of the book call 330-259-3399 and request curbside pickup.   You can also download digital copies directly from Libby or Hoopla.   The other books in the series, The President’s Mane is Missing, and The Goat Who Talked Too Much, are also available through curbside pickup, Libby, and Hoopla.   

Because Inspector Flytrap is an amazing (and very unusual) detective, this month’s Take and Make craft is a secret decoder that will test your own mystery-solving skills.  You can request your Take and Make craft kit through curbside pickup by calling 330-259-3399.  Happy detecting! 

Make and Take Craft:  Secret Decoder 

Items provided in your Take and Make Kit from the library: 

  • 3 wheels printed on heavy paper
  • Brad fastener
  • A message to decode 

Items you will need from home: 

  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Paper 

How to make the Secret Decoder 

  • Cut out the three wheels. 
  • Carefully poke a small hole in the middle of each wheel, using a pencil, paper clip or the provided brad. 
  •  Stack the three wheels with the largest on the bottom and the smallest (“secret decoder”) on top and attach them pushing the brad through the center holes.  

 Select your key 

  • Choose a letter on the outer wheel and a number from the inner wheel 
  • Turn the inner wheel so that your letter and number line up. This letter and number together will be your key.  For example, we are using M21 as our key.  
  • Once you have chosen your key and lined up the letter and number, don’t move the wheels again; keep them in place.  You are ready to create a secret message! 

 Create a secret message   

  • Line up your wheels so that key is showing. 
  • Write down the message using pencil and paper; do not use numbers or punctuation. 
  • Find the first letter of your message on the outer wheel, then write down the letter that is on the inner wheel directly below it. 
  • Continue until your message is complete.  

Decode a secret message 

  • Ask the message sender for their key 
  • Line up your wheels so that their key is showing.  
  • Find the first letter of the coded message on the INNER wheel and write it down.   
  • Keep going until you have decoded the message. 

Ready to test your skills?   

Here is a SECRET MESSAGE for you to decode. Have fun! 

KEY:  M21  

SECRET MESSAGE:   L T T I    O T G    I J Y J H Y N A J