Category Archives: Adventure

Alice’s Curious Adventure

“Every adventure requires a first step”

–  Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Today is Lewis Carroll’s 185th birthday.  It is a great time to revisit a classic, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, first published in 1865.  A journey like no other, Alice tumbles down the rabbit hole and encounters a variety of engaging characters.  Equal parts discovery and non-sense, it is a must read for those who have yet to experience the original Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat, and Queen of Hearts.  And worthy of a re-read for those who haven’t picked up their copy in a while.  Although nothing about Alice’s adventures can be considered traditional travel, imagination often provides the best kind of adventure, and books are the perfect way to get there.

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Filed under Adventure, classics

Super Series – Century Quartet

Four kids.  Four cities.  And the fate of the world at stake.

Seemingly brought together by coincidence Harvey, Mistral, Sheng and Elettra discover that they are part of an ancient mystery that must be resolved every hundred years.   If they fail, disaster awaits.  They’ll need each other to survive and succeed – their lives depend on it.  Written by Italian author Pierdomenico Baccalario, this series is filled with history, mystery, action, danger, and friendship and makes for an exciting journey around the globe. MR-5/6

century1Ring of Fire (Century Quartet, Book 1) –  A strange mix-up in hotel reservations bring Harvey from New York, Mistral from Paris and Sheng from Shanghai to Elettra’s family hotel in Rome, where they all have to share a room.  Stranger yet the kids discover they all have the same unique birthday.  Is their meeting really just coincidence?  Then, a mysterious man asks them to take care of a briefcase for him.  But when the mystery man winds up murdered, things take a decidedly sinister turn.  Now there is no going back, for once the four new friends open the briefcase and begin the hunt for the Ring of Fire – a centuries old center of power – they’ll travel throughout Rome’s most secret places on a life or death mission relying on their wits and each other to survive.

century2Century #2: Star of Stone – Reunited in New York the four friends discover that the professor who sent them all over Rome isnt’ done yet.  This time a series of coded postcards provide the clues necessary to send Harvey, Mistral, Elettra and Shang throughout hidden New York City on a quest of the Star of the Stone – another ancient and powerful object.  However, new threats are at every turn and this quest will be anything but easy.

century3Century #3: City of Wind – This time it’s Paris, Mistral’s home turf!  A gift from a friend of Harvey’s father turns out to be the key to unlocking the mystery to yet a third object of power.  The gift, a clock once owned by Napoleon, takes the four friends throughout Paris’ museums and famous churches on a race to discover its hidden secrets.  But this time they’re not alone, and someone sinister is keeping an eye on their every move.

century4Century #4: Dragon of Seas – Across Shanghai the four friends, led by Shang, search for the fourth and final piece of the puzzle to save the world – for at least another century. With only an odd collection of seemingly useless items to help in their quest for the Pearl of the Sea Dragon, the kids begin to rely on strange visions that Shang is having, which lead them throughout the city on their final quest – for they will succeed or surely perish as the danger is the worst they’ve faced yet!

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Filed under Action, Adventure, Middle Reader, mystery, series, travel

Super Series – 39 Clues

If your middle reader is looking for high action, intense adventure, and danger at every turn  – all while scouring the globe securing essential information, both for the heroes success, as well as to keep it out of the wrong hands – then this series is sure to please.

The 39 Clues – by Rick Riordan & Various Authors

Amy and Dan Cahill set out on a quest to discover the 39 missing clues that will reveal the true power of the Cahill family – but they aren’t the only branch of the mysterious family searching for answers, and not everyone has noble intentions.  As Amy and Dan travel the globe each mission becomes more dangerous, it becomes less clear who to trust, and their motives are constantly questioned.  Do Amy and Dan want to find the clues or just discover what happened to their parents?  What role do they play in the larger story of the Cahill family history, and what obligation do they have to keep the clues out of the wrong hands?

Initially I loved these books, they were fun, exciting and engaging.   The appeal for middle readers was three-fold – constant action, a distinct lack of adult supervision, and familiar authors who excel at this escapist type of novel.  I was won over by the incredible locales across the globe that the kids visit throughout their quest.  Eventually, though, the repetitive nature and implausibility of the perilous situations Dan and Amy constantly find themselves in wore thin.  (Seriously, how many times can two kids be trapped in a dark cave without any light being chased, attacked, etc.)  However, most middle readers, once they are hooked, will enjoy seeing the series through.  And if they want even more 39 Clues there are additional series, Cahills vs. VespersUnstoppable, and Doublecross for readers to enjoy.

39 clues1The Maze of Bones (39 Clues, No. 1) by Rick Riordan – Author Riordan, known for the Percy Jackson series and The Kane Chronicles kicks off the series with Dan and Amy choosing between a million dollars or embarking on the quest for the 39 clues.   As they meet the other branches of the family,  the search for the clues becomes more sinister.  Danger and mystery await as Dan and Amy travel to Philadelphia and then Paris chasing after the first clue.

39clues2One False Note (The 39 Clues, Book 2) by Gordon Korman – The competition between the warring factions of the family gets fierce as Amy, Dan, and their au pair chaperon Nellie lead chase through Austria in the second book, this one authored by Korman who is known for the Swindle and Island series.

39clues3The Sword Thief (The 39 Clues, Book 3) by Peter Lerangis – Amy and Dan discover more clues that lead them through Japan and Korea where an unlikely alliance could be their undoing.  This installation is authored by Lerangis, who is known for the Seven Wonders series and the Spy X books.

 

39clues4Beyond the Grave (The 39 Clues , Book 4) by Jude Watson – Egypt is full of danger and mystery as Dan and Amy face betrayal and find themselves trapped in their hunt for the next clue.  Author Watson has written extensively for the Star Wars series.

 

39clues5The Black Circle (The 39 Clues , Book 5) by Patrick Carman – A mysterious telegram from someone known only as “NRR” lead Dan and Amy to Russia where they infiltrate the Lucian base to get the next clue.  Carman also authored the Floors stories, a PBP favorite.

 

39clues6In Too Deep (The 39 Clues, Book 6) by Jude Watson – Amy and Dan head to Australia to follow their parents trail on the hunt for the 39 Clues.  Being so close to their parents memory is painful for Amy and her clouded vision leads to betrayal and the loss of an ally. Will they all survive?

39clues6reallyThe Viper’s Nest (The 39 Clues, Book 7) by Peter Lerangis – Danger hits close to home in South Africa, sending Amy and Dan running from the police.  That’s the least of their problems as they discover a final, devastating secret about their family branch that could change everything.

 

39clues8The Emperor’s Code (The 39 Clues, Book 8) by Gordon Korman – What happens when you think you are on the right side, but it turns out you might not be?  Amy faces her toughest challenge yet when she and Dan are separated in China -does she go after Dan or the clue?  How can Dan and Amy live up to who they thought they were, or who they want to be?

39clues9Storm Warning (The 39 Clues, Book 9) by Linda Sue Park – As they explore the Bahamas and Jamaica, Dan and Amy realize that they are finally about to confront the mysterious man who’s been tracking their movements throughout the search for the clues.  However, this meeting uncovers more secrets, and reveals the truth about the Madrigal branch of the family-one Amy and Dan never could have expected. Park is also the author of the remarkable A Long Walk to Water, which chronicles the stories of two Sudanese children.

39clues10Into the Gauntlet (The 39 Clues, Book 10) by Margaret Peterson Haddix – In England it is up to Dan and Amy to finish this, once and for all.  They are tired of playing by someone else’s rules and determinedly vow to end the hunt for 39 Clues their way.  Do they have enough strength to finally put all the pieces together and come out victorious?  Or do they just want to come out alive?  Haddix is well known for The Shadow Children Series and her The Missing Collection.

39clues11Vespers Rising (The 39 Clues, Book 11) Authors Rick Riordan, Peter Lerangis, Gordon Korman and Jude Watson come together to weaving four different stories, each by one author,  about the history of the Cahill family and their enemies, the Vespers.  While this book ties some loose ends together, it also leaves plenty of room and raises enough questions to introduce the next series The 39 Clues Cahills vs. Vespers.

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Filed under Action, Adventure, History, Middle Reader, mystery, series