Thursday, November 6, 2008

39 Clues book review

Scholastic publishing company has come out with a new book series for the tween and pre-tween (if there really is such a thing) group. The premise of the fantasy, adventure book series is that there are 39 clues hidden around the world. The clues reveal a powerful secret of the Cahill family and the family member who is able to follow the clues to the end will “be the richest and most powerful person in history” even more power than anyone in the Cahill family whose members include: Mozart, Benjamin Franklin, and Steven Spielberg (just to name a few).

The first book of the series, Maze of Bones, was front-and-center at all of the recent book fairs and has caused quite the stir amongst the local fifth graders for sure. Since Lulu has been in the midst of finishing The Secret Order of the Gumm Street Girls she has not yet started 39 Clues: Maze of Bones. I couldn’t resist finding what the buzz was all about so I did read and finish Maze of Bones on my own.

My initial take on the book was very good. It was a quick read with a fun, adventurous plot. In the book, there are many members of the Cahill family searching for the 39 clues, including Amy and Dan the favored grandchildren of Grace Cahill, whose death prompted the release of the 39 clues. I like that there are historical (following clues about Benjamin Franklin) and cultural lessons (trip to Paris, France) in the book without feeling like you are reading an encyclopedia. The adventure aspect feels like an Indiana Jones movie plot, which young readers should enjoy.

My only disappointment was that I dedicated the time and energy to read the first book and the adventure was very exciting, but at the end all I came away with was clue #2. Of course the author needs a reason for me to buy book #2, but I would have liked a bit more of a prize than just another clue.

Interestingly, the book series corresponds with a real-life treasure hunt with clues throughout the book, an online experience, and a within group of trading cards. We have started the web quest and we have a group of trading cards, but have not opened them yet.

Overall a very good book. Lulu raced through Gumm Street Girls this week so that she can start 39 Clues tonight. Gumm Street Girls was probably her most favorite book ever. We’ll see if 39 Clues was worth the wait.

You can check out the official 39 Clues website here.
You can buy your copy on Amazon here or browse reader reviews here.

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