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The Maze of Bones (The 39 Clues Series #1)

The Maze of Bones (The 39 Clues Series #1)

4.4 907
by Rick Riordan

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The first book in the #1 bestselling phenomenon sends readers around the world on the hunt for the 39 Clues!

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


The first book in the #1 bestselling phenomenon sends readers around the world on the hunt for the 39 Clues!

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.

Editorial Reviews

Instead of 39 steps, billionaire Grace Cahill left her heirs 39 clues scattered around the world. At the end of this circuitous trail are the answers to a great family mystery, but Amy and Dan must decide whether any prize can be more important than the rescue of their missing parents. The beginning of an enthralling ten-book arc.
Publishers Weekly

Built around a ripe conceit-wealthy matriarch scatters cryptic clues to a mysterious fortune around the globe-this first installment in a projected 10-book series is tons of fun. Lead-off hitter Riordan (The Lightning Thief) mixes just the right proportions of suspense, peril and puzzles in a fast-paced read (Riordan mapped the narrative arc for all 10 volumes, but other high-profile authors will be writing for the series, too). Likable orphans Amy and Dan Cahill have moxie (plus Dan can memorize numbers instantly) and frailties (Amy hates crowds). As the siblings compete with less honorable members of the Cahill clan, all distantly related to Benjamin Franklin, to win the fortune by collecting all 39 clues (only two are found in this first book), they learn about their dead parents, each other and world history. The humor is spot on-one uncle is credited with inventing the microwave burrito. The only flaw? The story does not end so much as drop off a cliff. (The second book, One False Note by Gordon Korman, is set to arrive in December.) While waiting, readers can collect cards, each of which contains evidence, and play the online game (www.the39clues.com), for which Scholastic is offering over $100,000 in prizes. This ought to have as much appeal to parents as it does to kids-it's Webkinz without the stuffed animals, and a rollicking good read. Ages 9-12. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Gwynne Spencer
This is the lead title of "The 39 Clues" series, which will have ten titles all by different authors, with a set of cards encased in each book, leading readers to the solution which is purported to be worth $100,000 in total prizes (although the grand prize is considerably smaller). Written in the breathless style of a Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys book, with no real character development or plot nuances, this will remind readers of Lemony Snicket but without the wonderful Baudelaire children. Amy and Dan Cahill (mother and father dead, house burned down, sounds familiar), part of the worldwide Cahill clan that includes every famous person who ever lived (yikes, David Icke and one-world-conspiracists in the fifth grade?) are chasing down clues left by their dead grandmother, Grace, to win an inestimable fortune and unbounded world power, and they are only 14 and 11 and are barely aided by their aupair, Nellie. There are six other teams of Cahill-clan baddies trying to do in the Amy-Dan team in competitive headlong pursuit of the 39 clues. The kids go bopping all over the globe, living on a loaf of bread here and a turkey sandwich there, with superpowers of survival when faced with dastardly villains trying to kill them with poison needles under the fingernails, fires, bombs, cement jackets, and more 007-esque adventures, in search of wealth, fame, and who knows what else? If you are a fan of Second Life, or an addicted gamer, this book experience may be the springboard to fun and adventure, but more than likely, it is going to cost you a fortune for the cards, which is the ultimate point of it all. The books are the delivery system to get the cards into the hands of kids, like Magic Cards,D&D, or other similar games. Librarians will have to take out the cards (or they will be gone in a heartbeat) before the book goes into circulation; however, there is a special library edition available (which this reviewer did not see), as well as audio and international editions (see the website, www.the39clues.com for details) . Rick Riordan's other fun-for-kids series, written with verve and humor, bear little resemblance to this title, which seems to have been written to specifications like an old Stratemeier syndicate title. This should come with a warning sticker: Beware the Ignominious Hustle. Reviewer: Gwynne Spencer
School Library Journal

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

Kirkus Reviews
"Synergy" is the name of the game in Scholastic's post-Potter search for market share. Grace Cahill has died, and her orphaned grandchildren Amy, 14, and Dan, 11, are among the heirs offered a choice: They can accept one million and walk, or they can take the first clue in a worldwide scavenger hunt to find the secret that has made the extended Cahill family the most powerful family in world history. Every other heir is out to get Amy and Dan, Grace's supposed favorites, as they work their way through the puzzles in this first volume of a ten-book "multi-platform" series. Six trading cards come with each trade-edition copy, and more can be purchased separately. Cards can be entered on an accompanying website, where readers six to 14 can "enter the race" by playing mystery games. Each new volume, by such authors as Gordon Korman and Peter Lerangis, spawns a new contest with real cash prizes. Librarians should be careful to purchase card-free library editions to avoid circulation headaches. (Novelty/fiction. 9-14)

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
39 Clues Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.70(d)
610L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Rick Riordan is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series for children and the Tres Navarre series for adults. His books have won many accolades including a mention on the 2005 New York Times Notable list for The Lightning Thief. Rick lives with his family in San Antonio, Texas.

Brief Biography

San Antonio, TX
Date of Birth:
June 5, 1964
Place of Birth:
San Antonio, TX
B.A. in English and History, University of Texas

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The Maze of Bones (The 39 Clues Series #1) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 906 reviews.
romance-nut More than 1 year ago
When I first picked up this book I was a bit skeptical it sounded like every other book but I quickly learned that this was truely a unique read! The plot was full of twist and turns some were predictable but others took me by complete surprise, there was humor to lighten up the story and amazing characters to help it along! I really enjoyed this book and I eagerly await the next one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I teach 6th grade literature, so I am familiar with Rick Riordan's effect on young adults. Unfortunately, this book does not reflect his writing style. Some readers will be disappointed in that. Still, it is an entertaining read. I bought two copies of the book, so I could read it with my own 6th grader. I thought it would be fun for us to try to solve the clues together, and it was. He really enjoyed the book, and I think it is a great opportunity to test critical reading skills in young readers. We even bought two packs of the cards in order to see what those clues and puzzles were like. They were interesting, and we had a good time figuring those out as well. From a literary viewpoint, the book is nothing special: the characters are flat and the plot is predictable. But, for those kids that are just looking for a quick, easy, fun read, this book may fit the bill. If you or your kids liked the National Treasure movies, then this book is a winner!
Balina More than 1 year ago
This was great. I couldn't put this aside.
Ghost_Author More than 1 year ago
This book is exiting and funny. If you are 5 years old or older and you are bored, pick up this book and start reading or let your parents read it to you if you can't read. I think anyone would think it is a great series of books after you've read book one. I even want to start reading the book right now! I am in book 3 at the moment.I think anyone would love this book... There are a few challenging words, but your parents can help you with them. It describes other countries and lets you imagine you are there. The two main characters seem just like brothers and sisters even when they are arguing. There is always something exiting or dangerous about to happen and you want to keep reading to find out how they survive.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It may be for ages 8-12, but I've still really enjoyed this series! They have a great team of writers, that do a fantastic job. I'm extremely happy Rick Riordan wrote the first book. I actually started reading this one, got bored and stopped reading it, and was later convinced by my sister to give it another try. I AM SO HAPPY I DID! Once you get past the first couple chapters, the action comes into play and you're hooked! I am now five books ahead of my sister, have gotten a bunch of my friends hooked, and just can't wait for book 11! I hope everyone takes advantage of this great series!
vbcody More than 1 year ago
My son and I are reading this series together. He started reading it and is now on book 4. When he got finished with the first book he said mom you should read this it's great and we have enjoyed the great bond that we've shared through reading these books. I am now on book 7 and even as an adult these books are a great to read and I have enjoyed reading these books and learning just how fun it can be to read a series of books with my child. We share in something that no one else can share except each other. It's like we're going on a journey and no one else can take part in it unless they read the books too. We have talks about the Cahill kids and where we think they'll go next and what trouble they'll get into next. We have bonded in a way that wouldn't have been possible to do anyother way. There's just something special about reading this book series with your child. If you are considering reading this series or your child reading this series go for it, it's a great adventure for all. We love it and hope they make a movie from these books.
moosesrule882 More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book! I bought it during passing time at the Minneapolis airport and read it on the way to San Diego! (sorry, I didn't buy it at Barnes & Noble) It is fantastic in almost every way. A truly great way to start a series. But are there really going to be 39 books? I'll buy them, I know that!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book when I picked it up I couln't put it down.And it's about two kids Amy and Dan Cahill and their parents die in a fire and then thier grandmother takes care of them.The one day she dies and Amy and Dan are envited to the funeral where everybody else is envited and thats about 400 other people so then when they get there they have to go see her get burried then this person hands them a envlope and in that envolope it has a paper that says that Amy and Dan have been choosen to be 40 out of 400 people to go to thiier grandmas WILL.Then thats when it all starts.They have a choise to either take home one million dollars or take a risk at life or death to become the most prized Cahill in the world.Amy and Dan took the quest then now you have to read the book to find the rest out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome!!!!
soccerboy More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading the Maze Of Bones by Rick Riordan.It is about two kids named Dan and Amy whose lives turn upside down when their grandmother dies. At her funeral, they learn that their family is the most powerful family in the world. Every important person was related to them. They are given the opportunity to either take $1,000,000 or go on a treasure hunt that can make them the most powerful people in the world. The treasure hunt consisted of 39 clues and began in France and, of course, they decided to go. During the hunt, they faced many obstacles, including the fact that their distant relatives tried to kill them! I like the character Uncle Alister. He was very weird and he was thought to have invented the microwavable burrito. I also liked the story's setting because it took place in France. Finally, each chapter ended in a cliff hanger and I liked that because it kept me reading. I did not really like the ending of the book because it didn't really have much of an ending; only one of 39 clues was found. I also think Rick Riordan could have included some of the characters more often. Other than that, the book was great! Rick Riordan writes from one character's perspective at a time. Usually it switches on and off between Dan and Amy but sometimes it is from the perspective of another team in the treasure hunt such as the Kabras, Irina Spasky, or the Holts. The book is easy to read because the words are simple and it the topic is clear to understand. I would recommend this book for many reasons. First, it is mysterious like when they go into the Maze of Bones or the cemetery. Second, the book is funny, especially when the Holts hit each other with popsicles. It is also funny when Dan and Amy call Irina Spasky "The Spaz" because her eye twitched. Finally, it is really cool when they use weapons like the stun bomb or the hidden needles in Irina Spasky's fingernails. That is why I would recommend the Maze of Bones. The only other books that are like this one are the other books in this series. Rick Riordan has also written the "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" series. The Maze of Bones is a great book that you will enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You should read this book if you like clues, trying to figure out things and if you like history (like Benjamin Franklin's time or Mozart). I thought it was good because it really caught my attention when I read it. I am a 9 year old boy but I think boys or girls would like it.
Alvin0830 More than 1 year ago
The moment I started reading this book, I did not put it down. The adventure was carefully plotted and it didn't fail to amuse me. A must-read book especially for young teens.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We found the book; funny, fast paced, clever with clues and educational information. After finishing, we purchased the next books in the series and hope that they hold our attention just as much.
SideDownUpSpade More than 1 year ago
I thought this was one of the best books I've read with a creative and unexpected plot that keeps the pages turning along with plenty of humor and mystery. I've never read a book written by Rick Riordan that I didn't love, as I'm a huge fan of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, and he, as always, didn't a tremendous job on this book. However, the problem with this series is that different authors write different books within it, and I just wish Rick Riordan would have stuck to writing all of them, because I would like the series so much more. The website is fun to go on and has exceptional games, and I like the side stuff that goes along with the books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The whole series is is wonder full I read it 5 times.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book.It's 7points
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WOW!The Thirty Nine Clues is a great book i got to say....its a really nice book and the website too
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was one of the best books i've read! It is really age approiate for 9-11 years because younger kids wouldn' t understand the concept.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. Cant wait to read the next one. After reading this, i was mad at myself for no reading them sooner. A must-have for everyone. And i mean everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In my opinion I think that this book is wonderful.It has a lot of suspence and seems like a great idea.It is full of action and adventures and does not end like you would think it would.It is a little expensive, but worth it because of all the great action in it.I think that it is totaly worth buying.
JoannaPA More than 1 year ago
Started reading this to 4th grader and we were both hooked. Have been giving it as a gift to other young readers ever since. Happens every time! One book and you're hooked! Like tater chips you can't read just one. The children love the characters,the story and the goodies inside each book. Well done.
BookwormKD More than 1 year ago
i really liked reading the 39 clues series because it was fun to try to guess what the clue meant and where it would take amy and dan cahill. it suspensful and mysterious and all- around enjoyable. it wasn't twilight-good but it wasnt bad either. i cant wait to read the rest of the series. i also recommend dead is the new black, death by biikni, killer cruise, sleepless, and model spy
Dialga34 More than 1 year ago
I think that this book was thrilling because once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down for more than a few minutes a day. I think that it's sort of mysterious because Amy and Dan Cahill (the main characters) don't know specifically what they are risking their lives every minute of the day to inherit. All they know is that this inheritance will make them the most powerful people on Earth. When they chose to go on this dangerous mission, Amy and Dan sent $2,000,000 up in flames. This is one of the many series that I always have difficulty choosing between. These books contain a fast-paced adventure full of danger, not for the faint of heart.
Ryan_Everett More than 1 year ago
This is the first book in the series the 39 Clues. This book really gets you wanting to read more and more. The story begins with to foster kids who live with their evil Aunt. Well when their favorite grandma dies she leaves a will that you can either take a million dollars or the first clue to the 39 clues. The family they belong to is the most important family in the world called the Cahills. They had George Washington to Benjamin Franklin. Now they have to find out what Benjamin Franklin left for the family to find.
kk73 More than 1 year ago
it is a great book because you will all new stuff about a different counteys and life