The Maze of Bones (The 39 Clues Series #1) by Rick Riordan, Audiobook (CD) | Barnes & Noble
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!

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


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.

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 (, 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.)

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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, 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
Edition description:
Unabridged, 4 CDs
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.10(d)
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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