My post from last year about The 39 Clues series and The Maze of Bones (Book One) is one of the most highly frequented posts on Brimful Curiosities. That's not entirely surprising considering the popularity of the unique middle grade series. The books follow two orphans, Dan and Amy, as they race against other branches of their family to discover and assemble 39 clues hidden around the world. In anticipation of the upcoming release of the final book, Into the Gauntlet by Margaret Peterson Haddix, the authors of the books in the series are participating in The 39 Clues blog tour, and Brimful Curiosities is the second stop of the tour.
The 39 Clues multi-media adventure series is fun, entertaining and majorly addictive. The books, meant for children ages 8-12, contain a bit of history, plenty of action and several interesting characters. An elaborate online gaming component further adds to the excitement. I know for a fact that if I was a tween right now, I would certainly try my best to complete all the missions and collect the cards and clues. (I was a huge Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? fan at that age and spent quite a bit of time globe-trotting and following the clues on my Apple computer.) And, fans can rejoice -- DreamWorks Studios has acquired movie rights to the books. Here is a complete list of books in the series:
Book 1: The Maze of Bones (September 9, 2008) by Rick Riordan
Book 2: One False Note (December 2, 2008) by Gordon Korman
Book 3: The Sword Thief (March 3, 2009) by Peter Lerangis
Book 4: Beyond the Grave (June 2, 2009) by Jude Watson
Book 5: The Black Circle (August 11, 2009) by Patrick Carman
Book 6: In Too Deep (November 3, 2009) by Jude Watson
Book 7: The Viper's Nest (February 2, 2010) by Peter Lerangis
Book 8: The Emperor's Code (April 6, 2010) by Gordon Korman
Book 9: Storm Warning (May 25, 2010) by Linda Sue Park
Book 10: Into the Gauntlet (August 31, 2010) by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Today, I'm thrilled to host my first ever author guest post on Brimful Curiosities! Gordon Korman, author of Book 2: One False Note and Book 8: The Emperor's Code, offers his thoughts on experiences writing as a parent. Read his fabulous stop #2 blog tour post below --
When Book 2: One False Note came out, my eldest son Jay was a fourth-grader, which couldn’t have been more perfect. Here I was, working on The 39 Clues series, and I was living with a member of my own audience. Book 1: The Maze of Bones got Jay hooked, and after that, we moved straight to The 39 Clues website.
There are four branches in the Cahill family and I’m a member of the Janus branch. This makes sense, since I work in the arts, and since One False Note focused on Mozart, a famous Janus. Maybe it’s a dad thing – wanting your son to follow in your footsteps. For some crazy reason, I assumed that Jay would end up a Janus like me. But when he took the quiz, the mysterious branch-assignment oracle had placed him with the Lucians.
Now, none of the Cahill branches get along very well, but the Lucians and the Janus seem to be especially hostile to one another. In the spirit of healing, I offered Jay access to the Janus secret documents on the site, expecting – reasonably – that he’d do the same for me. Uh-uh. When he’s on The 39 Clues website, I’m not even allowed in the room!
It’s incredible to me that a fantasy-adventure series I’m helping to write has somehow managed to create a cold war right smack dab in the middle of my own family. Even more amazing is the amount of information that has gotten through to Jay “under the radar” as a result of his interest in the series. My son – who up until recently believed that World Wrestling Entertainment was the ultimate in culture and sophistication – regularly spouts facts about Ben Franklin, Mozart, and the Russian royal family. The other day, I overheard him lecturing his siblings that the continent of Australia is home to more creatures that can kill you than any other place on earth. The Australian tourist bureau may not be as effusive in its expression of gratitude, but as a parent, I love it that my son has opened his eyes to the vast cultural richness of the world around him. Better yet, he sees that a lot of it is – as Dan Cahill (or Jay himself) might put it – mad awesome.
From my kids’ perspective, I’ve been a writer forever. But it certainly isn’t lost on them that the things I do in conjunction with The 39 Clues always seem to be just a little bit … well, cooler. Whether it’s opening the NASDAQ Stock Exchange, or being interviewed by Whoopi Goldberg or on ABC World News Tonight, the work/play line continues to blur with this series. It’s been a fabulous ride, not just for me, but for my entire family.
Maybe that’s the real reason this series has been such a wonderfully rewarding experience, above and beyond. I’m not just a 39 Clues author; I’m a 39 Clues parent, too.
A big thanks to Gordon Korman for sharing his family's experience with The 39 Clues series today on my blog. Perfect for music lovers, book 2, featuring the historical figure Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, is actually my favorite of the entire series, so I'm ecstatic about featuring his book in this blog tour! (Check out my review of Book 2: One False Note -- you can listen to the music featured in the book.)
And here's more exciting news. Thanks to Scholastic, one Brimful Curiosities reader will win Books 1 and 2 in The 39 Clues Series (book #2 will be autographed by Gordon Korman.)
To enter, leave any comment relevant to this post. (Or answer the following question: If you were a 39 Clues author, what famous historical figure would you want to feature in your book?)
• For contact purposes, if you are a non-blogger or your email is not accessible in your blog profile, please leave a valid email address within the comment section.Three ways to gain extra entries (Maximum total entries is 4; please leave a separate comment for each entry):
• Contest is open to US Only
• Contest ends on Tuesday, August 31st, 2010 at 11:59 PM CST.
• Winner will be chosen at random and sent an email notification.
1st extra entry: Blog about this contest then post your link in the comment section.
2nd extra entry: Follow me on twitter (iambrimful) and tweet about the contest.
3rd extra entry: Follow Me! or subscribe by email or RSS reader
Don't forget to visit the other blogs along this 10 stop blog countdown tour and watch for more giveaways:
July 23: Techmamas; July 27: Brimful Curiosities; July 30: Susan Heim on Parenting; August 4: Manic Mommies; August 9: HighTechDad; August 12: Tree, Root, and Twig; August 18: The Children's Book Review; August 23: Robyn's Online World; August 25: On Our Minds @Scholastic; August 31: 5 Minutes for Mom.
Thanks to Scholastic for providing me with review copies of the books in The 39 Clues series. (View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.)