The 39 Clues is a groundbreaking, multi-dimensional new series aimed at 8-12 year olds. The program and story span 10 adrenaline-charged books, hundreds of game cards, and an
online game where readers may compete in the hunt for the 39 Clues.
What would happen if you discovered your family was one of the most powerful in human history? What if you were told that the source of the family's power was hidden around the world, in the form of 39 clues?
What if you were given a choice: take a million dollars and walk away... or get the first clue?
If you're Amy and Dan Cahill, you take the clue and begin a very dangerous race... the race to discover... The 39 Clues.
• Collect the Cards. One rare or ultra-rare card guaranteed in each pack.
• Read the Books. Follow Dan and Amy Cahill as they search for clues.
• Play the Game. Join the hunt for the clues at www.the39clues.com
• Win the prizes. Start now for your chance to win thousands of dollars worth of prizes.
I finally got my own hard copy version of book one (as opposed to the audio book) and fell in love all over again. There are so many subtle clues and questions set out in this first book that are answered along the way (not only in the final chapter). It is so much more obvious, reading book one again, how much the children grow up through the course of the series as well.
As an introduction to a brilliant series, book one of the 39 Clues is exciting, introduces characters at an easy to follow rate and has some wonderful witty prose. As with all the other books, it introduces facts about history I didn't even know (Ben Franklin went to France?) and promotes critical thinking in the readers.
Full marks from me. This is a great children's series and perfectly readable even outside the target market.
The Maze of Bones is about two kids named Amy and Dan Cahill who begin a dangerous race to uncover the secret of their family's power, in the form of 39 clues hidden around the world. In this book, Rick Riordan has written a breath-taking story for those who love code-breaking and puzzle-solving. This story also offers a lot about history starting with a historical figure named Ben Franklin. The book has a cover that looked so cool I couldn't wait to see book two. The story was very interesting and made me log into the website and start my first real adventure to track down clues and win lots of cash prizes. This series is part story, part game, but most importantly, part competition. I'm looking forward to completing this game. Let the hunt begin.
Just when you think you will never find a book that a reluctant-to-read-ten-year-old will ever read, one comes along - and not just one, but ten in all (one has been released, the next is due achingly shortly and then we have to wait until the remaining 8 books are written and published).
Just when I thought I would have to shout, beg or bribe her to read for a while in bed - the daughter sneaks off to bed to read before I have to shout, beg or bribe....
Clearly there was something about this book that attracted my daughter, and anything that holds my daughter's attention is worth close scrutiny. Nope - no pictures to colour in and not a comic - a book. A real book, with chapters, a story and a puzzle. Two of them to be precise and the potential of a prize to be won. Whether or not my daughter wins a financial prize from solving the mystery is remote, with so many kids playing - but the real prize, is a daughter wanting to read.
On reading the book for myself, the story centres on two orphaned children who are given some clues by a grandmother to piece together the family secret.... enough said, you will have to read it for yourself. The fast-paced book flows quickly, making it a must-read in one session for me. The characters are well constructed and believable. The whole book is just loads of fun.
For any children who have read this book, you can be sure the second book is on the wish list for Christmas. If your children haven't read this book, then you had better get it for them (and get them book 2 at the same time!)
All in all, this book is a winner, and if they start as they mean to go on, the Scholastic is onto a winner too.
OK, it has been many a year since I fit into this reading age bracket, but sometimes it's nice to sit down for some light reading... something you know you can blitz through in a couple of days without having to devote more than a passing thought to. Having a son who is now into homeschooling and is quite a bright spark (if I do say so myself) when he gives himself a chance, it was interesting to see how well he took to this book.
With puzzles in the book itself, and additional puzzles, tasks, codes to break and logic-locks to decode on the bonus cards that are available*, as well as missions, quests and games to beat on the website, he was very rapidly finding he had a few more rev's in his mental engine than he thought. It was great to see how he latched on to the challenge of not only reading through the book, but also decoding the hidden extras. They gave him a reason to research, and expanded his maths, history, co-ordination and cognition skills in a really fun way that he could enjoy without feeling like he was actually 'working'.
The story flows well, the characters are easy to connect with, and the tasks they undertake are far from unbelieveable, which gives it a really '...but what if...' feel that helps to capture the attention of even the yongest, fussiest reader.
On a more personal note, though I found the website a bit OTT in places, it was a lot of fun to wander through with my son, and the cards had me as enthralled as he was. In order to 'test' them, I went through and completed the clues, tasks and puzzles first, and then let him dive in to tackle them himself. That way, if he got stuck, I knew roughly where he needed to go and could give him a nudge in the right direction. Little did I realise that the crafty little sprog would find solutions I hadn't spotted to some of the puzzles! It's amazing to see how well kids can find ways to solve a problem we adults would never have considered.
Overall, I can't wait to see what book 2 holds... roll on December 2nd 2008! Oh yeah, and there are prizes to win too... but personally, I don't see that as a big factor. If the first book is anything to go by, this is shaping upi to be something quite spectacular in it's own right. Extending a story across multiple media is nothing new... the Wachowski brothers did it with the "Matrix" storyline, spreading it across movies, games, comics and online offerings... but this is aimed at kids and has a far more accessible, interactive structure that really seems to appeal. It's like taking "Indiana Jones" and "National Treasure", blending them together and slapping the kids right into the key role... simply brilliant!
Random listing from 'Books'...
Superbot lives with his inventor, Mrs Brightspark at the top of a skyscraper, always on alert to save the world from any trouble. When Bruto the terrible toy destroyer goes on the warpath stealing children's toys, it's Superbot to the rescue!
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