Sunday, November 7, 2010

39 Clues Book One: The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan

39 Clues Book One:  The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan

I enjoyed this book.  I didn't love it the way I loved Harry Potter or Percy Jackson, but it was a good read.  I can really see the appeal for 10-11 year old boys!  My literature circle for evaluation of children's literature chose this book for the whole group to read.  I was a little skeptical at first.  However, it does have some pretty novel concepts for a book series.

Here's the setup:  There are 10 books.  Each book comes with trading cards.  There is also a website for the series.  You have to use the trading cards, the website and the books in order to find all of the clues.  See the 5th grade boy appeal?  I have to admit that I did NOT go to the website......yet.  I want to go there now because I'm intrigued by the ending of the book.  Like any good mystery, it ends with a doozy of a cliffhanger, so I may be forced to read the next book.

The story is good.  It is told at a rapid pace and the clues are fun to try to figure out.  I really felt for the characters right from the beginning.  You can easily sympathize with both Amy and Dan and it's also fun trying to figure out if anyone else can be trusted.  Also, I ended up really liking the babysitter, Nellie.  I didn't think that I would, be she really started to grow on me and I found that I had warmed up to her by the end of the book. 

Rick Riordan is, of course, a wonderful writer and he knows how to write for kids without writing down to them.  The pacing is perfect.  The kids find the clues and follow them without getting the reader lost or bored.  I also loved the concept that all of the world's most influential people come from the same family! : )

I would definitely recommend this book to the 9-12 age group.  It has received starred reviews from Publisher's Weekly and School Library Journal and I'm putting my stars right there with it.

My grade?  A solid A!

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