Capitol Code is a story of a shy young girl trying to fit into a new life in a new city who finds herself at the center of a government corruption scandal. As the fast-paced events unfold around her, we see Leili growing in confidence even as her challenges get more difficult. Most importantly, she learns to trust herself and others.
On her 13th birthday, Leili Teng moves to Washington, D.C. when her widowed father, John Teng, takes a new job with the Commerce Department. He is an expert on coded communication and privacy issues and soon discovers thefts of bank codes and military secrets that threaten his safety and that of his daughter. Forced into hiding, John Teng involves Leili in his efforts to expose the criminals.
John Teng has taught Leili simple codes since her early childhood. He directs Leili’s escape through these codes and gives her instructions to help solve the Internet thefts. As she moves through Washington, meeting with some people, hiding from others, Leili leans on her knowledge of the city, her sleuthing instincts and a small group of friends to carry out her father’s instructions.
The action takes place in and around some of the most famous buildings, monuments and scenic places in Washington, D.C. John Teng has taken his daughter to many of these sites on what they both refer to as the Teng Topical Tours. Capitol Code gives the reader insight into the significance of these places and what they mean to the national identity.
Capitol Code is about friendship and trust, the maturing of a strong, young teen-aged girl and the timely topic of balancing security needs and citizens’ personal privacy.