My kids and I sat down at the kitchen table to begin our morning together. Between bites of egg and sips of coffee, I try to read with them every morning. On this morning we were beginning a new book, Code 7, Cracking the Code for an Epic Life.
I read the title. Code 7, Cracking the Code for an Epic Life and wondered out loud what is needed for an epic life. My kids piped in- kindness, love, spending time doing the things you love to do. We listed a couple more: friendship, travel, computer time, sugar, pets, and then decided we’d take a look and see if we knew the code.
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Code 7 is a series of short stories about seven upper elementary school friends. In each chapter (seven), one of the kids is faced with a challenge. Stage fright, not having enough money to buy the gaming system all their friends have, keeping a bedroom clean- the challenges not only hooked us into each story, they were relatable. We then read how each character chose to handle the challenge. Through a series of struggles, strange and sometimes silly mishaps, the characters learn how to take charge and make meaning out of their challenge, and we all found a piece of the code.
What I loved- the stories brought up good conversations about the choices we make, and how our choices affect us, others, and the world.
What my kids loved- the kids and their problems were relatable. They also liked discussing how they would or do handle similar situations.
At the end of the book, we were left with seven words, code words, that help to make a life great and the important idea that we (kids and adults) can create the life we want to live.
Of course, there are many words to live by. The author, Bryan Johnson, and the publishing company Starts with Us, know this too, so they created a challenge for their readers. The challenge begins with each of us to find our code word. A word that guides and helps us lead a better life.
It’s a challenge that made me appreciate the book even more.
I also appreciate Starts with Us is a publishing company on a mission to find books like Johnson’s. They are seeking authors who want to encourage and empower children to make positive impacts by following their talents and interests.
We took the challenge.
Now, we invite YOU to read Code 7 with your children and take the Code 7 challenge. Code 7, Cracking the Code for an Epic Life is great as a read aloud. Looking for a project? A unit study on character building, service projects, team building- there are so many ways this book could be used in the home and classroom.
A great book, an important mission, a challenge worth taking.
What’s your code word? How does it guide you?