Sunday, March 16, 2014

RA RA READ: Multi-author, Multi-media Series

A few years ago, Scholastic debuted a new kind of chapter book series. Each book was written by a different, popular author, and there was an online component with games, scavenger hunts, etc. The books also included collectable cards. The series was, of course, 39 Clues. This series is still going strong with spin-off series, but there have been several other similar series started. This is a very popular genre and features a range of children of ages, sex, and race. All of these series are shelved by series in the Favorites section at the beginning of the juvenile fiction.

39 Clues, although fairly short chapters, are specifically aimed at a 9-12 age group. They are exciting adventure/mystery stories with lots of peril, some violence, and a lot of references to history and famous historical figures, events, and places.

39 Clues
This series features two kids who discover they are related to the Cahill family, the most influential family in history. Members include famous inventors and other figures of history. The kids find themselves caught up in a giant treasure hunt, tracking down clues across the world to the serum that gives the family its power. They also compete against other members of the family. There are 11 books in this series and it is complete.

39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers
This is the second series. All of the Cahill branches are together again and they battle against a secret organization called the Vespers who have taken Cahills hostage to force the kids to search for more clues to another secret. There are currently 6 titles available and more planned to come.

39 Clues: Unstoppable
This is the third 39 Clues series. The kids lose the serum and basically the series starts all over as they try to retrieve it. There are 2 titles available and more planned to come.

Infinity Ring
Three kids discover the secret of the Infinity Ring and learn to travel through time. They learn that the history of the world is broken and only they can fix it. Sound familiar? This series is a little older than 39 Clues - it's overseen by popular teen author James Dashner - but it's still fine for 9-12. It has the same mix of adventure, mystery, and history as 39 Clues.

Spirit Animals
This series features four kids and is the first fantasy-based series in this genre. In the fantasy world of Erdas, each child has to discover if they have a spirit animal. The four kids and their spirit animals have to fight against an ancient evil and save their world. They're searching for talismans.

Other mysteries involving clues and adventure
Chasing Vermeer, Calder Game, and The Wright 3 by Blue Balliett
Name of this book is secret by Pseudonymous Bosch
All the wrong questions by Lemony Snicket
London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd
Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Stewart
Emerald Atlas by John Stephens


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