Thursday, April 26, 2012

39 Clues: The Emperor's Code by Gordon Korman

Book Jacket

One belief has sustained fourteen-year-old Amy Cahill and her younger brother, Dan, on their hunt for the 39 Clues: They are the good guys.  But then a shocking discovery about their parents shatters everything Amy and Dan think they know, dividing the two siblings for the first time ever.  When Dan disappears in a country of more than a billion people, Amy has to make a terrible choice-find the next Clue...or find her younger brother.


China and Mount Everest!  This was quite fun.  I'm partial to Asia, so this was a great adventure for my tastes.  And the descriptions of Mount Everest (combined with my recent reading of Peak) made the race to Everest's summit very evocative.  Korman continuously referenced just how high 29,000 feet is, and you'd think that got old.  But no, each time my mind boggled. 

I also appreciated the Holts being useful for once.  They are so often the butt of the joke, and it was nice to see them excel.  Except, well, apparently money and connections accounts for more than physical strength.

I liked hanging out with Jonah Wizard again.  Seems like it's been several books since he's had a major role to play.  The combination of his story and Amy and Dan's identity crisis made me have a thought.  I wonder how this series would be different if it were YA instead of middle grade.  There is a lot of potential to explore family manipulations, nature vs. nurture, and a whole bunch of interesting ideas!  I'd love to have the psychology played into more, but I understand that this is skewed younger and is more adventure-oriented.  Which is fine.  The series does a good job at what it sets out to accomplish.

Four out of five silk scraps.

Release Date:  April 2010
Reading Level: Grade 3+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection: J39C

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