Saturday, September 11, 2010

THE 39 CLUES series

For almost two years (and through the course of ten books), I've been following the story of fourteen-year-old Amy and eleven-year-old Dan Cahill, and all of their relatives, as they've traveled the world learning about all sorts of famous people and events throughout history as they've fought to search for their family's hidden clues that would lead to power.  They've learned much about history, themselves, family, how to work together, survival, outwitting others, how to be there for each other, and most importantly, what family really means. These books are quick, fast-paced, exciting, easy reads which kept me guessing until the very end. Finally, I've read the culminating book in THE 39 CLUES series: INTO THE GAUNTLET, and I'm glad I went on this journey.  I truly enjoy a good mystery, spy, or heist book and this series combines all of those with adventures, double-crossing, and excitement.

The 39 Clues is a series of ten books, written by various fantastic young adult authors, that all tell the story of what happens to Amy and Dan after their grandmother dies and her will leaves them (as well as members of the other four branches of the Cahill family) one million dollars or the first of 39 clues that will lead them to a source of power.  They take the clue and the adventure begins.  Along the way, as they decipher hints to lead them to the main clues, they learn how many famous people in history were actually members of the Cahill family and involved in the clue hunt: Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Amelia Earhardt,  and Mozart just to name a few. 

I liked how the series ended and felt satisfied with how the hunt ended up.  I enjoyed the bits about William Shakespeare in this final book, and how Amy and Dan were able to mature and become the strong people they are by the end of this journey.  I appreciate books where the brother and sister are portrayed as real as these two are: they have their fights are arguments, but ultimately, it's all about protecting and looking out for each other.  I'm glad I got the chance to follow their journey throughout this series as they all discovered more about themselves and who they really are, and would highly recommend it to middle school readers.  It's a series with a lot of adventure, suspense, sticky situations, clues to figure out, mysteries, loyalties to be tested, and assumptions to be questioned - it's a great amount of fun!

5 Stars for THE 39 CLUES series
Book 1: Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan
Book 2: One False Note by Gordon Korman
Book 3: The Sword Thief by Peter Lerangis
Book 4: Beyond the Grave by Jude Watson
Book 5: The Black Circle by Patrick Carman
Book 6: In Too Deep by Jude Watson
Book 7: The Viper's Nest by Peter Lerangis
Book 8: The Emperor's Code by Gordon Korman
Book 9: Storm Warning by Linda Sue Park
Book 10: Into the Gauntlet by Margaret Peterson Haddix

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