April 21, 2010

A Little Book for A Day with Little Time

I knew yesterday would be crazy. I subbed at the school for my favorite teacher (she also happens to have M. in her class so I got to spend the day with my son). And I chased boys from 7 AM (running club and choir) to well into the night (baseball practice). I picked up a slim volume that I knew would be easy, The Emperor's Code. This is Book 8 in the The 39 Clues series developed by Rick Riordan but with a different author for each book in the series.

The books are fine. J. loves them, but he also loves the on-line game aspect that comes with them. He likes collecting the cards and figuring out the clues. As a marketing plan the books are genius. As a series, they are just o.k.

To be honest, I expected more from the likes of Riordan, Gordan Korman, and Jude Watson. They have all produced better work.

I do like that they manage (if the kids care enough to check it out) to teach a little history, a little geography and a little of the liberal arts. I also like that the heros are kids ... a theme that always draws me to Children's and YA literature (i.e. Nick of Time and Percy Jackson).

Do you have a struggling reader? These would be great! Amazon says they are for kids ages 9-12. I think a twelve year-old would be bored, but a struggling 8 or 9 year-old would probably find them easy enough to get through but interesting enough to hold his (or her) attention. My advanced 7 year-old has no trouble with them.


  1. My kids are past this age, but they would have liked them. I know what you mean about pressed for time--I keep digging on the shelves for shorter books and am slightly panicked about Friday, when I'm in a conference all day. I want to use the weekend to get ahead for next week. Yikes! But we, we're one-third of the way there!

  2. I'm always suspicious of authors who farm out their name and ideas to other authors to write for them, but this sounds OK, and like a shorter version of Percy Jackson, which I don't think my 6yo is up for, yet.