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Aug 27

Review: The Black Circle by Patrick Carman (The 39 Clues #5)

I received this book for free from ARC received from publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Black Circle by Patrick Carman (The 39 Clues #5)The Black Circle by Patrick Carman
Series: The 39 Clues #5
Published by Scholastic on 2009
Genres: action & adventure, crime & mystery, fiction, junior fiction
Pages: 160
Source: ARC received from publisher
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INCOMING! Amy and Dan have been found UNHARMED! But perhaps not for long - the ruthless Irina Spasky is right on their tail. And WHAT are those crazy kids doing poking their noses into Lucian secrets?!? Are they TRYING to get themselves killed? The 39 Clues Book 5 takes Dan and Amy on their most dangerous quest yet, one that brings them face to face with the only force capable of scaring the vicious Lucians: the Madrigals.

I know I’ve written about this series before, but with each new title I am once again reminded that this series is based on a fantastic concept.

With the release of the The 39 Clues #5: The Black Circle, the series is now at the halfway mark with another 5 titles to be released over the next 12 months, concluding in September 2010.

For those who missed my earlier review of The 39 Clues on Reading Upside Down, the novels follow 14-year old Amy Cahill and her younger brother Dan as they hunt for clues all over the world to solve a family mystery. Other members of their extended family are also searching for clues, with each individual or team aiming to be the first to solve the mystery and gain control of vast power and wealth.

While Amy and Dan’s adventures around the globe are enthralling in themselves, readers can also register to take part in The 39 Clues competition, gathering game cards and trying to solve the clues themselves. There are significant prizes on offer and the competition is being run in several different countries. Full details are available at The 39 Clues website, where registered users can also go online to play games, keep track of their card collection and gain extra clues and information.

Clues are scattered through the story, website, game cards and “hidden” in secret codes in the book page numbers and covers. Lots of fun for kids who love mysteries, codes and logic puzzles. I also love that the book shares some great locations around the world with the kids as they follow Amy and Dan’s adventures.

My 10-year-old son loves these books and eagerly awaits each new release. He took the latest book to school when he had to give a talk on his favourite book recently and now has several classmates and his teacher hooked as well.

It isn’t too late to register and join in The 39 Clues fun. There are now two separate sets of game cards available (one for books 1 – 3, another for books 4 – 6) and there is a playmat and instructions for a Cahill card game, Double-Cross, available at The 39 Clues website.

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