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.