Continuing the theme of book series recommendations from last week, this week we’re recommending mystery book series. As we said last week, if a child finds a book he or she really likes that part of a series it’s highly likely that the rest of the books in the series will be read too. The key, as always, is to find out what interests your child so you build on that interest and keep him or her reading. One of the series that we’re recommending, 39 Clues, is a new approach to marketing that adds additional items that the publisher would like you to buy. We’re not recommending any items beyond the basic books but that’s something you might want to explore with your child.
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart “’Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?’ When this peculiar ad appears in the newspaper, dozens of children enroll to take a series of mysterious, mind-bending tests. (And you, dear reader, can test your wits right alongside them.) But in the end just four very special children will succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and resourceful children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules.
As our heroes face physical and mental trials beyond their wildest imaginations, they have no choice but to turn to each other for support. But with their newfound friendship at stake, will they be able to pass the most important test of all? Welcome to the Mysterious Benedict Society.” Review from Amazon.
The Wide Window: Or, Disappearance! (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 3) by Lemony Snicket is for kids in grades 5 and up. “In The Bad Beginning, things, well, begin badly for the three Baudelaire orphans. And sadly, events only worsen in The Reptile Room. In the third in Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events, there is still no hope on the horizon for these poor children. Their adventures are exciting and memorable, but, as the author points out, “exciting and memorable like being chased by a werewolf through a field of thorny bushes at midnight with nobody around to help you.”
This story begins when the orphans are being escorted by the well-meaning Mr. Poe to yet another distant relative who has agreed to take them in since their parents were killed in a horrible fire. Aunt Josephine, their new guardian, is their second cousin’s sister-in-law, and she is afraid of everything. Her house (perched precariously on a cliff above Lake Lachrymose) is freezing because she is afraid of the radiator exploding, she eats cold cucumber soup because she’s afraid of the stove, and she doesn’t answer the telephone due to potential electrocution dangers. Her greatest joy in life is grammar, however, and when it comes to the proper use of the English language, she is fearless.
But just when she should be the most fearful–when Count Olaf creeps his way back to find the Baudelaire orphans and steal their fortune–she somehow lets her guard down. Once again, it is up to Violet, Klaus, and Sunny to get themselves out of danger. Will they succeed? We haven’t the stomach to tell you. (Ages 9 to 12) –Karin Snelson” Review from Amazon.
The 39 Clues Book 1: The Maze Of Bones by Rick Riordan is for kids in grades 4 and up. “What would happen if you discovered that your family was one of the most powerful in human history? What if you were told that the source of the family’s power was hidden around the world in the form of 39 clues? What if you were given a choice – take a million dollars and walk away …or get the first clue and begin the search? At the reading of their grandmother’s will, Dan and Amy are given this choice – and they take the clue. Immediately, they are caught in a dangerous race against their own family members. The hunt is on. Think you’ve gone everywhere books can take you? Think again. Books are going to a new place, but you have to follow the clues to get there. Join Amy and Dan as they begin the hunt for the 39 Clues in “Book One: The Maze of Bones”. The high-octane adventures will continue for a total of ten exhilarating books written by well-known authors over two years.” Review from Amazon.