Book Ciphers

1. Agree on a book
2. Number each word
3. Use the first letters of each word only
4. Missing letters? Use the next number up for them all

e.g. If there are 98 words, all missing letters would be coded 99

Letters are often grouped into regular patterns of 4s or 5s, to improve safety.
Still used by spies in the field. What’s suspicious about carrying a book around?

Our Verdict: Super safe yet simple to use / read.


Our text is from The Einstein Code, my first book

The park exit was open so he went straight through, but a few paces on he heard the car start up. It turned towards him, only seconds away. He plunged into the nearest garden, hurdled a flowerbed onto the lawn and crouched behind some giant rhododendrons, just beating the car, which was travelling unnervingly slowly. He found a gap between the waxy leaves and peered out.

A face, bald, bearded and angry, was staring back at him, leaning out of an open window, as if searching for something. Or someone.

Me, Ben thought, sick with fear. He’s searching for me.

This gives us our JCC book cipher. To get to it, and some messages encrypted in it, click on the link below.

JCC Book cipher

To crack the book ciphers alongside Ben, Jess and Freddie in The Darwin Code, click on the link below.

Jess’s Book Cipher