Are you a Janus? A Lucian? An Ekaterina? A Tomas? Or even (gasp) a Madrigal?
If you aren’t sure then you probably haven’t read The 39 Clues series (http://www.the39clues.com/) and you should get to your library as soon as possible!
The series follows the adventures of Dan and Amy Cahill, who discover that they are members of the most powerful family in history. When their grandmother dies Dan and Amy are given a choice: they can accept a check for a million dollars or risk it all and join the hunt for the 39 clues.
The catch? They will be competing against their unscrupulous family members who will stop at nothing to find the clues first. The reward? Whoever finds the clues becomes the most powerful person in the world.
The books are wonderful and kids love following Amy and Dan as they tour the world with their cat in tow, searching for clues and evading their sneaky cousins and dangerous aunts and uncles. The reading experience doesn’t stop on the page though. The website offers readers a chance to join in the hunt. They can create an identity, figure out which branch of the family they come from (Janus, Lucian, Ekaterina, Tomas or Madrigal), and use the cards that come in the books to solve mysteries. More than 1.4 million readers have registered on the website and with a new series launching recently and a movie in development those numbers are only going to go up.
There is also an app called The 39 Clues Madrigal Maze for the iPhone and the iPod Touch. Go here to get more information and see a video. At $0.99 US cents the app is a great deal and will appeal to fans of the books as it offers them the chance to unlock a secret encryption key to help them solve clues on the website.
Scholastic has pulled out all the stops with this series and there is extensive educator material on the website. This includes book excerpts, audio excerpts, video interviews and lots of other goodies that teachers can use, along with the app, to hook reluctant readers and extend those students who just can’t get enough of the Cahills.
If you interested in other reading apps check out this post on our Create Readers blog.
Have you read The 39 Clues series? Are your students fans?
flickr image by bon_here