My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The 39 Clues (2008) by Rick Riordan is a mystery/action-adventure series for young teens and is quite a fun and insightful read.
Amy and Dan Cahill are orphans living with an overbearing aunt named Beatrice when their grandmother, Grace Cahill, dies. As it turns out, Grace was in charge of a vast fortune and at the reading of her will the family members have to make an immediate choice: take one million dollars and walk out the door, or accept the challenge to go on a mystery hunt all over the world and inherit such power and wealth that could change the course of human history forever. Amy and Dan, humbly, accept the challenge.
The rest of the Cahills, both distant and near relatives, turn against each other or establish temporary alliances as each group searches for the meaning of the first two clues. The hunt leads Amy and Dan, accompanied by their au pair, to near death as the game becomes all too real when a bomb explodes and almost kills them. After unraveling the first clue in Philadelphia where the late Benjamin Franklin and his legacy are behind the first revelation, Amy and Dan go to Paris to seek the Maze of Bones and the answer to the second clue.
What I liked most about this book is that Riordan is able to incorporate historical facts and weird side-notes about famous people who (according to the book) are related to the Cahills and their clans. For example, Ben Franklin wrote, in addition to Poor Richard’s Almanack, some essays solely about farts. Also, how places like Independence Hall and the Rue de Rivoli or the Louvre or the Tuileries garden are used as settings in this book for youths who in this day and age need a bit of historicity and a bit of intellectual knowledge to go along with a fun mystery.
The only disappointment I had about this book was that it contains the first two clues and that to find out if Amy and Dan live to discover the treasure, and what pray tell that treasure of such importance could possibly be, one has to read the series–which is not a bad thing for young people: to read while learning a bit about history and the world and have fun doing it.
Lastly, each book provides a clue card and at the bottom of some of the pages there were some numerical clues that just might be discovered at the online companion of this series at www.the39clues.com
A strong recommend for young people under the age of twelve.
CG FEWSTON is an American novelist who is a member of AWP, a member of Americans for the Arts, and a professional member and advocate of the PEN American Center, advocating for the freedom of expression around the world.
CG FEWSTON has travelled across continents and visited such places as Mexico, the island of Guam, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Taipei and Beitou in Taiwan, Bali in Indonesia, and Guilin and Shenzhen and Beijing in China. He also enjoys studying and learning French, Vietnamese, Cantonese and Mandarin.
CG FEWSTON earned an M.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership and Administration (honors), an M.A. in Literature (honors) from Stony Brook University, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Fiction from Southern New Hampshire University, where he had the chance to work with wonderful and talented novelists like Richard Adams Carey (author of In the Evil Day, October 2015; and, The Philosopher Fish, 2006) and Jessica Anthony (author of Chopsticks, 2012; and, The Convalescent, 2010) as well as New York Times Best-Selling novelists Matt Bondurant (author of The Night Swimmer, 2012; and, The Wettest County in the World, 2009, made famous in the movie Lawless, 2012) and Wiley Cash (author of A Land More Kind Than Home, 2013; and, This Dark Road to Mercy, 2014).
Among many others, CG FEWSTON’S stories, photographs and essays have appeared in Sediments Literary–Arts Journal, Bohemia, Ginosko Literary Journal, GNU Journal (“Hills Like Giant Elephants”), Tendril Literary Magazine, Prachya Review (“The One Who Had It All”), Driftwood Press, The Missing Slate Literary Magazine (“Darwin Mother”), Gravel Literary Journal, Foliate Oak Magazine, The Writer’s Drawer, Moonlit Road, Nature Writing, and Travelmag: The Independent Spirit; and for several years he was a contributor to Vietnam’s national premier English newspaper, Tuoi Tre, “The Youth Newspaper.”
You can read more about CG FEWSTON and his writing at
A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN won GOLD for Literary Classics’ 2015 best book in the category under ”Special Interest” for “Gender Specific – Female Audience”…
Finalist in the 2015 Chatelaine Awards for Romantic Fiction…
Finalist in the 2015 Mystery & Mayhem Novel Writing Contest…
Praise for A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN:
“Fewston delivers an atmospheric and evocative thriller in which an American government secret agent must navigate fluid allegiances and murky principles in 1970s Tehran… A cerebral, fast-paced thriller.”
“A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN is a thrilling adventure which takes place in pre-revolutionary Tehran. Author CG FEWSTON provides a unique glimpse into this important historical city and its rich culture during a pivotal time in its storied past. This book is so much more than a love story. Skillfully paired with a suspenseful tale of espionage, A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN is a riveting study of humanity. Replete with turns & twists and a powerful finish, FEWSTON has intimately woven a tale which creates vivid pictures of the people and places in this extraordinary novel.”
CG FEWSTON‘s new novel,
A TIME TO LOVE IN TEHRAN, was published on April 2, 2015 —
10 years to the day of the publication
of his first novella, A FATHER’S SON (April 2, 2005)
“Thus one skilled at giving rise to the extraordinary
is as boundless as Heaven and Earth,
as inexhaustible as the Yellow River and the ocean.
Ending and beginning again,
like the sun and moon. Dying and then being born,
like the four seasons.”
found in Sources of Chinese Tradition, p 5