When I found out that we were going to be hosting the final blog tour stop at 5 Minutes for Mom for the much-awaited last book in the 39 Clues series, and that our guest post would be from the author of the last book Into the Gauntlet, written by one of Amanda’s favorite authors, Margaret Peterson Haddix, I had to finally take a look at these books myself.
Amanda had read a few of them last year, but she got out of the habit when the new-releases became harder to get at the library, so she hasn’t read the last few. But this review isn’t about the kids. If you are ever around elementary school and tweenaged kids, you would know that kids love this series (A while back Dawn posted her son’s endorsement of the 39 Clues series). This is about me.
I really really enjoyed The 39 Clues Book 1:The Maze of Bones. It reminded me of the Red Pyramid, and not only because I just listened to the audiobook: the sense of adventure and empowerment, the brother sister duo, the “most important family in history” plotline.
That said, this series is original — the media tie-in game part, the use of many different authors to write the series.
Most importantly, it has so much of what young readers want in a book: a fun, light tone; action; suspense; and empowerment.
For a taste of what I mean, read the first sentences of chapters 2 and 3:
Dan Cahill thought he had the most annoying big sister on the planet. And that was before she set fire to two million dollars. –Chapter 2 (page 4)
Amy Cahill thought she had the most annoying little brother on the planet. And that was before he almost got her killed. — Chapter 3 (page 21)
Another unique feature of a book aimed at this age range (a solid middle-grade book, for 8 – 12 year olds) is the use of images. Most chapters include a picture of some kind — an image of the clue, of a sign, or some handwritten details. This helps the book come alive, and invites the readers deeper into the mystery.
As a parent, I appreciated the courage, pride, and family togetherness exhibited by the young Cahills.
Reading this book reminded me of why I love to read childen’s fiction. It reminded me why I loved reading as a child. It makes me jealous of all the hours that my kids have to spend reading and all of the books and stories that they will discover.
After I finished the first book I wanted to go right on to the second. I did start it, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to put it aside, to get back to real life. That said, I do plan on enjoying the entire series in bits and pieces.
Disclosure: For participating in the blog tour, I received a set of the 39 Clues books, which I can’t wait to finish reading, and Amanda plans to finish reading, and I will be happy to introduce to Kyle a few years from now.
Now go enter to win over at 5 Minutes for Mom — all 10 books, included a signed copy of the 10th book by Margaret Peterson Haddix.
Jennifer Donovan is a mother of 2 — a 12-year-old confirmed bookworm, and a 6-year-old who may end up surprising himself with his love of books. She blogs at Snapshot.