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The maze of bones
2008
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Summary
The first book in the #1 bestselling phenomenon sends readers around the world on the hunt for the 39 Clues

Format: 4 CDs, Unabridged

Minutes before she died Grace Cahill changed her will, leaving her decendants an impossible decision: "You have a choice - one million dollars or a clue."

Grace is the last matriarch of the Cahills, the world's most powerful family. Everyone from Napoleon to Houdini is related to the Cahills, yet the source of the family power is lost. 39 clues hidden around the world will reveal the family's secret, but no one has been able to assemble them. Now the clues race is on, and young Amy and Dan must decide what's important: hunting clues or uncovering what REALLY happened to their parents.

Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
Gr 4-7-When their beloved Aunt Grace dies, Dan, 11, and Amy, 14-along with other Cahill descendants-are faced with an unusual choice: inherit one million dollars or participate in a perilous treasure hunt. Cahills have determined the course of history for centuries, and this quest's outcome will bring the victors untoward power and affect all of humankind. Against the wishes of nasty Aunt Beatrice, their reluctant guardian since their parents' deaths, Dan and Amy accept the challenge, convincing their college-age au pair to serve as designated adult. Pitted against other Cahill teams, who will stop at nothing to win, the siblings decipher the first of 39 clues and are soon hot on the historical trail of family member Ben Franklin to unearth the next secret. Adeptly incorporating a genuine kids' perspective, the narrative unfolds like a boulder rolling downhill and keeps readers glued to the pages. As the siblings work together to solve puzzles and survive dangers, they develop into well-drawn individuals with their own strengths and personalities. Supporting Cahill cast members come across as intentionally exaggerated caricatures, adding to the tale's breathless fun. The book dazzles with suspense, plot twists, and snappy humor, but the real treasure may very well be the historical tidbits buried in the story. Part of a multimedia launch including a Web site, collectable game cards, and a 10-title series (penned by different authors), this novel stands solidly on its own feet and will satisfy while whetting appetites for more.-Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
In a bold leap forward in marketing strategy, this first book in the 39 Clues series introduces readers to what promises to be a sensational mix of reading, online gaming, card-collecting, and even a grand-prize sweepstakes. The premise of the book: Grace Cahill, matriarch of the world's most powerful family, dies and leaves behind a challenge to her descendants. They can either inherit one million dollars, or forgo the money and receive the first of 39 clues that will lead them on an around-the-world adventure in search of, well, that's a secret. But it's an earth-shattering secret, and with 10 books planned for the series (each by a different author), it had better pay off in the end. Riordan, who has plotted the main arc for the series, gets the ball rolling nicely with likable brother-and-sister heroes, a cast of backstabbing relatives, and a smattering of puzzles and clues to decipher in the quest for the ultimate secret. Whether this intriguing book represents the first major event in a shifting world of publishing, or is simply a clever money- and attention-grabbing ploy remains to be seen, but it will be fascinating to see what kids make of it. (Library edition does not include game cards).--Chipman, Ian Copyright 2008 Booklist
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