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The 39 Clues: The Maze of Bones

The 39 Clues: The Maze of Bones

The 39 Clues is a series of ten books that tells the story of a world-wide treasure hunt. It reminds me a lot of National Treasure. You can solve puzzles and look for the 39 clues yourself by reading the books and playing online – you just might win a prize.

To find the 39 Clues:
Read the Books – Each 39 Clues book unlocks one Clue.
Collect the Cards – Game cards help reveal Clues.
Play the Game – Find Clues through online missions.

The first book is called The Maze of Bones. It was written by Rick Riordan – the author who writes the Percy Jackson books. The next nine books will follow one at a time through September 2010. (Number two comes out Dec. 2.)

The Maze of Bones starts off the adventure when Dan and Amy Cahill’s Grandmother dies and includes them in her will. At the reading of the will, Dan and Amy are given the choice of receiving a million dollars instantly or receiving the first of 39 clues that are hidden around the world. They are told that the clues will lead to the source of the family’s power. To accept the first clue means giving up the million dollars. It also means competing against other Cahill family members. Some family members are annoying, some mysterious, and some downright dangerous. Dan and Amy take the first clue of course and it’s up to them (and you) to find the clues. Try to do it without getting blown up, OK? Author: Rick Riordan

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Staff Recommend – Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot

Staff Recommend – Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot

Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot

A true story. It’s 1948 during the Berlin Airlift. Pilots, who three years earlier were bombing Berlin, are now in the business of saving Berliners from a slow, wintry starvation. One of those pilots is Lt. Gail Halvorsen. In addition to his deliveries of flour and coal, he parachutes Hershey Bars to the watching children. These children have never tasted candy.  Halvorsen’s kindness is a hit.  He receives fan mail, and in one letter, a child named Mercedes asks the “Chocolate Pilot” to please drop some candy at her house.  A knock on Mercedes’ door begins a unique friendship. Author: Margot Raven Illustrator: Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen

Recommended by: Mike Hylton – Irvington Library

More Staff Recommends

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Geronimo Stilton: Valley of the Giant Skeletons

Geronimo Stilton: Valley of the Giant Skeletons

Valley of the Giant Skeletons

Geronimo Stilton’s cousin Trap shows up with a treasure map he found in a trunk belonging to the Stilton’s adventerous Uncle Wally – a rodent Indiana Jones.  Geronimo and Trap team up with Thea and Benjamin Stilton and travel to Mongolia and its famous Gobi Desert in search of the treasure.  They travel by plane, bus & camel, sleep in a Mongolian gher (tent) and sample delicious Mongolian food – sausages with steamed onion and meat ravioli.  Yum! Little do they know that they are not alone in the search for the buried treasure.  Out in the desert – danger awaits – and it isn’t just the heat, scorpions & sand storms!  Everybody wants this treasure – it’s huge! Author: Geronimo Stilton Illustrator: Claudio Cernuschi and Christian Aliprandi

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Starcross

Starcross

Starcross

While their rambling space station home is being renovated, Art, Myrtle and their 4 million year-old space alien Mom accept an invitation to a vacation resort located out in the far reaches of the universe.  The resort, it’s guests and the resort’s owner are not at all what they first appear.  Creepy attack puppets, aliens disquised as hats that attach to your head and control your every Larklightthought, a maniac evil genius bent on dominating the universe…the usual for Art and Myrtle.  Luckily, their favorite space pirate Jack Havock is at the resort too, undercover and ready for action.  If you haven’t read Larklight, read it first, then read Starcross – you will be happy to know that a third book called Mothstorm is on the way (Oct. 14, 2008), and that the series has been optioned for a movie. Author: Philip Reeve Illustrator: David Wyatt

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She Touched the World

She Touched the World

In 1832, three-year-old Laura Bridgman and her two sisters were stricken with scarlet fever. In those days, there were no antiobotics or fever reducing medicines. Laura’s two sisters died.  Laura’s fever lasted for many weeks and left her blind, deaf and without her senses of taste and smell.  The only sense Laura had left was touch.  Like Helen Keller, who was born many years later, Laura was often frustrated and threw temper tantrums, angry about her inability to make other people understand what she wanted.

Luckily, a man named Samuel Howe was at the same time opening a school for the blind and figuring out ways to help deaf and blind children learn.  (It later became the Perkins School for the Blind.)  Laura went to live at Mr. Howe’s school and he was able to teach her to read and write.  Laura became famous.  The English writer Charles Dickens even came to visit her and included a story about her in his book American Notes.  40 years later, Helen Keller’s mother read that book by Charles Dickens and realized that her daughter Helen cold be helped!  Can you imagine her reaction when she was reading, realizing that there was another girl like Helen who had learned to read!

It was Laura Bridgman who taught Annie Sullivan how to fingerspell.  Annie Sullian became Helen Keller’s teacher.  I never knew there were deaf and blind students before Helen Keller that could communicate like her.   It was Laura, not Helen, that was the very first deaf and blind student to learn to read and write.

It is hard to even imagine…living in silence and darkness…and then having someone teach you how to share your thoughts with others.  What a miracle!  In the biography below Helen talks about what it was like to learn how to read…and then what it felt like to go to the Perkins School for the blind and meet other blind children who could also fingerspell…she had friends for the very first time.  Cool! Author: Sally Hobart Alexander

So, it was Mr. Samuel Howe who worked with Laura and taught her how to fingerspell.  Laura taught Anne and Anne taught Helen.  It all started with Mr. Howe.  His methods are still used today to teach deaf and blind students how to read and write.  Now that’s one guy who made a big difference.

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