Tensions run high in the explosive 8th book of 39 Clues, the #1 New York Times bestselling series.
One belief has sustained fourteen-year-old Amy Cahill and her younger brother, Dan, on their hunt for the 39 Clues: They are the good guys. But then a shocking discovery about their parents shatters everything Amy and Dan think they know, dividing the two siblings for the first time ever. When Dan disappears in a country of more than a billion people, Amy has to make a terrible choice - find the next Clue . . . or find her younger brother.
Built around a ripe conceit wealthy matriarch scatters cryptic clues to a mysterious fortune around the globe this first installment in a projected 10-book series is tons of fun. Lead-off hitter Riordan (The Lightning Thief) mixes just the right proportions of suspense, peril and puzzles in a fast-paced read (Riordan mapped the narrative arc for all 10 volumes, but other high-profile authors will be writing for the series, too). Likable orphans Amy and Dan Cahill have moxie (plus Dan can memorize numbers instantly) and frailties (Amy hates crowds). As the siblings compete with less honorable members of the Cahill clan, all distantly related to Benjamin Franklin, to win the fortune by collecting all 39 clues (only two are found in this first book), they learn about their dead parents, each other and world history. The humor is spot on one uncle is credited with inventing the microwave burrito. The only flaw? The story does not end so much as drop off a cliff. (The second book, One False Note by Gordon Korman, is set to arrive in December.) While waiting, readers can collect cards, each of which contains evidence, and play the online game (www.the39clues.com), for which Scholastic is offering over $100,000 in prizes. This ought to have as much appeal to parents as it does to kids it's Webkinz without the stuffed animals, and a rollicking good read. Ages 9 12.