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I grew up on a farm outside Washington Court House, Ohio. As a kid, I liked to read a lot, and was also involved in 4-H, various bands and choirs (I played flute and piano), church youth group, the school newspaper, and a quiz-bowl type team. I was pretty disastrous as an athlete, although I did run track one year in high school. After graduating from Miami University (of Ohio), I worked as a newspaper copy editor in Fort Wayne, Indiana; a newspaper reporter in Indianapolis; and a part-time community college instructor and freelance writer in Danville, Illinois, before my first book was published. I've moved around a lot as an adult, having also lived in Luxembourg (during a college semester abroad) and in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania. Several years ago, I moved back to Ohio with my husband and kids; we now live in Columbus, Ohio. My husband trains investigative journalists, and my kids are in high school, so there's always a lot going on around our house.
The 39 Clues is the first series I've read that was written by a variety of authors. I wasn't sure how well that would work, but as the series ends, I can say that, IMHO, the books blended together well, creating a cohesive and very entertaining whole. The multi-author method also exposed me to authors I hadn't read before, including Margaret Peterson Haddix whose contribution, Into the Gauntlet, turned out to be my favorite book in the series.
As Into the Gauntlet begins, Dan & Amy Cahill, along with their au pair Nellie Gomez (who has been declared an honorary Madrigal) arrive in London, still reeling from the events of Storm Warning. Not only are they exhausted, but they're feeling defeated and unable to cope with the news that they are expected to unite the warring branches of the Cahill family. But there's no time to rest and regroup. Within minutes, the coded note waiting for them in their room is stolen by a taunting monkey and the clue hunt - revolving this time out around William Shakespeare - begins again.
Into the Gauntlet continues the series standard of keeping the chapters short and the action non-stop. The POV changed frequently, something I thought worked particularly well in this book because it gave us the opportunity to listen in as each of the characters started to make decisions about the direction they wanted their own life to take. I won't reveal any spoilers except to say that most of the characters make decisions that seem relatively wise.
Though I thought there were a few bumps in the road over the course of the series, I feel it ends strongly and, overall, there were a lot of things I liked. Readers caught glimpses of exotic locales and learned a bit about some of the most influential people in history.Read more ›
I liked The 39 Clues Series! I read the first one, The Maze of Bones, mainly because Rick Riordan had written it (confession: you're reading a HUGE Rick Riordan fan's review), and after that I continued to read the books, but I thought the series kind of went downhill after the first couple of books. And I must admit, I was a little worried, wondering, after I'd finished Storm Warning, how the last book would wrap up all the scattered details, made and lost over the series. And Maragaret Peterson Haddix totally did it! This last book made up for all the others! I really think it was the best (The Maze of Bones being my second favorite). It was the longest (over 300 pages), and the plot really started well and kept going strongly. The author did a great job of portraying all the different characters in the Cahill branch.
See, that's what I didn't like about the other books. They always were about Amy and Dan, and only a few of the other characters were in each book. In this one, Haddix makes sure to create a part for each character.
If you've read all the books before this, especially the last one, book 9, then you'll know that Amy and Dan have a big job ahead of them. They have to unite all the other Cahill branches together, after years of fighting. Will they succeed? The author does a wonderful job of writing this.
Also, I LOVED how Haddix portrayed Isabel Kabra as much more evil and villainy, instead of just silly and annoying.
But who will win the race of the 39 Clues in this final, epic book?Read more ›
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As a second grade teacher, I became acquainted with the 39 Clues series through my classroom book club. However, my 9 year old granddaughter is really the one who inspired me to start reading the books. After reading Book One, I was hooked. The books are filled with fascinating details about history and geography. The story line is well written and fast-paced. I can't put them down! These adventures are perfect for strong readers ages 9 and up.
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When Grace Cahill passed away, relatives oozed out of the woodwork in hopes of getting their hands on her fortunes. But Grace wasn't your typical old lady, and she didn't leave this world in a typical fashion either. Instead of a will and an inheritance, she left behind a quest involving 39 clues that lead to a vast wealth and the highest authority imaginable. Now, six teams of Cahill relatives are racing around the world, chasing after intricately placed clues left behind by other famous Cahills, including Ben Franklin and Mozart.
Fourteen-year-old Amy and her 11-year-old brother, Dan, make up one of the teams. Orphaned and unwanted by everyone except their beloved (and now deceased) grandmother, the siblings don't have anything to lose and have decided to go for it. But unlike their opponents, they have no money, no connections and no special training, not to mention the fact that they're just kids. This team has the odds seriously stacked against them. But they do have a very cool au pair (a sort of domestic servant) traveling with them, and above all, a great deal of spunk, smarts and determination. The race is on, and there aren't any rules.
In the much anticipated series finale, Amy and Dan, along with their au pair Nellie, stumble into London in a fog of exhaustion. Overwhelmed by the shocking news that Mr. McIntyre and Uncle Fiske unloaded on them and still suffering from the shock and grief of Lester's death, they barely have the energy to breathe, let alone continue the monumental task of the clue hunt. But the other teams aren't pausing for a single moment, and Amy and Dan absolutely can't let the power of the prize fall into the hands of the evil Isabel --- so the search continues.Read more ›
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