Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Beyond the Grave: Book 4: The 39 Clues by Jude Watson

When I review The 39 Clues series, I do it with the knowledge that I'm not the target audience. Even so, I was disappointed in Book Three in the series, The Sword Thief. However, the fourth release, Beyond the Grave by Jude Watson, is back on target. This one is a pageturner, a fast-paced story filled with facts and fascinating descriptions of Egypt.

Amy and Dan Cahill continue their hunt for the 39 Clues that could make them the most powerful people in the world. Along with their au pair, Nellie, they left Japan and arrived to Egypt, where they're looking for the next clue. Upon arrival, they find connections to Napoleon, another historic member of their family. And, at the hotel, they find inventors who were members of the Ekaterina family, Thomas Edison, Marie Curie, and others.

But, most important, in this book, they find a closer connection to their beloved grandmother Grace, and surprising clues that she left just for them. There are paintings, hieroglyphs, and, most of all, their memories, that will lead them on in their hunt.

And, it's definitely a dangerous hunt. They are reminded, "This is just the beginning of the chase for the thirty-nine clues. There will be betrayals and seeming betrayals. There will be reversals. There will be victories that will turn out to be dust. What you must do is simple. No matter how things look, you must keep going. How do you do that? By following your heart."

Crocodiles, spies, dangerous poisons, traps. Dan and Amy Cahill face all of these in Watson's Beyond the Grave. Watson does an excellent job summarizing the past history, showing how the chase started. And, this recent book is another exciting story. Book Four, Beyond the Grave, with its historic figures, and stories of Egypt's history and myths, is recommended for readers ages 9 to 12 or so, whether they're playing the game and collecting cards, or not. It's a fun, fast-paced story.

The website for the game is

Beyond the Grave (The 39 Clues Series #4) by Jude Watson. Scholastic, Inc., ©2009. ISBN 9780545060448 (hardcover), 192p.

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