During a war hundreds of years ago, the seven sons of King Agamon of Balabad were each given a key. The seven keys were part of the security built around a grand treasure. The sons were sent to seven different places in the world to keep themselves (and the keys) safe until the war was over. Only when the keys came together again could the treasure of Balabad be found again.
500 years have passed since the seven sons were sent into the world. The sons are long gone, the fate of the keys unknown.
In today’s Balabad, a tiny (made up) Middle Eastern country, Oliver Finch is living with his parents, his Dad a foreign correspondant and his mom an art curator. Oliver is homesick for his friends, movies, pizza and everything familiar about New York City. Oliver and his only friend Zee find amusement and relief from the heat and blowing sand in the tent of the local carpet seller, Haji, an excellent storyteller.
One day, the boys learn about the theft of a 500 year-old carpet, The Sacred Carpet of Agamon. Then Zee overhears his father having a curious conversation and then Zee finds something interesting…an old key….and then Haji disappears under mysterious circumstances. An Indiana Jones-like adventure with a secret map, a cavern of mazes, greedy bad guys and smart kids who figure out the clues that lead to the secret of the seven keys.
This story is based on a real treasure found in Afghanistan called the Golden Hoard of Bactria. The treasure lay buried under a hill for 2,000 years before it was found again in the late 1970s.
Perp Walk is an interactive game of old-school investigation, logic, and determination. Everyone’s got an excuse or an alibi — or so it seems — but some stories are not as good as others. Use your knowledge and logic skills to catch the bad guys in this game of alibis and lies. Perp Walk
Talk the Talk Word of the Day: Signpost – A signal that lets someone know you have left a message for them.
Calder, Petra and Tommy (Chasing Vermeer, The Wright 3) are back with another puzzling art mystery. Now in 7th grade, the three go with their class to see an exhibit of Alexander Calder’s mobiles at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Shortly after the field trip, Calder and his Dad take a trip to England and stay in a tiny village well known for its giant garden maze. The maze is life-size, and easy to get lost in, like the maze in the last challenge in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. To Calder’s surprise, the village also has a newly installed Alexander Calder sculpture in the town square. Many people living in the village are angry about the new sculpture, some villagers even seem angry at Calder for sharing the artist’s name. The anger turns to fear, however, when the sculpture, and Calder, both disappear without a trace. Petra and Tommy are flown to England to try to help Calder’s dad and the police figure out what happened to Calder. Is he lost in the maze, or something worse? Try to solve the puzzle and find the clues with Tommy and Petra. The illustrator hid puzzles in the pictures again – see if you can solve those too! Author: Blue Balliett Illustrator: Brett Helquist
“Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?” When this unusual ad appears in the newspaper, lots of children show up to take a series of mysterious tests, but just four succeed: brilliant orphan Reynie, Sticky (everything he sees, hears or reads…sticks), Kate (with her bucket of tools) and tiny, brilliant Constance. The children learn that an evil genius is secretly broadcasting subliminal messages to the world and it is up to them to stop him. There are clues to follow and puzzles to solve and codes to understand. They have no choice but to turn to each other. No magic, just smart kid power and a lot of heart. Author: Trenton Lee Stewart
The Mysterious Benedict Society Web Comic Used With Permission:
@bookblrb: Four peculiar kids made it through the test. Now they’re the world’s last hope.
Don’t miss the Society’s other adventures..and try Kiki Strike: Five delinquent Girl Scouts, a million hungry rats, one secret city beneath Manhattan, and a butt-kicking girl superspy – that’s Kiki Strike!