Study Guide

The Maze of Bones (The 39 Clues) Introduction

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The Maze of Bones (The 39 Clues) Introduction

From Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne to Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? to The Amazing Race, people have always loved not only traveling around the world, but watching others do it, too. Something about that sense of adventure, the never knowing where you'll end up or how you'll get there, the wacky people that you meet, and the even wackier foods that you eat—it's all just fun.

The 39 Clues takes that love of worldwide adventure, adds a pinch of National Treasure thrown in for flavor, and stirs it all up into a fast-paced page-turner that millions of readers have already sunk their teeth into. And whereas teams on The Amazing Race are racing for a million dollars, teams searching for the 39 clues have to give up a million dollars. That's because they're searching for something more: knowledge and power.

See, The 39 Clues follows orphaned brother-and-sister duo Amy and Dan on a quest around the world, starting in Philadelphia and Paris, as they follow a trail of clues set by their grandmother. The prize? We're not sure yet, but allegedly it's something that will make the winner the most powerful human being in the world. (No, it's not Donald Trump's hairpiece.)

The 39 Clues was created by Scholastic with a story arc dreamed up by Percy Jackson author Rick Riordan. The series now features over fifteen books written by seven different authors including Newbery Medal-winning author Linda Sue Park and Star Wars author Jude Watson. It's not just a multi-author experience, either. The 39 Clues is a true multimedia experience with trading cards containing secret brainteasers (think Pokemon meets Sudoku) and a website full of challenging games that unlock behind-the-scenes information. These bonus features add depth to the mysteries in the book (and get you to spend more money).

So what are you waiting for? The Cahills aren't waiting for you. There's a race to be run, a mystery to be solved, and a lot of delectable French food to sample. Pick up The Maze of Bones—the first book in The 39 Clues series—and get a clue today.

What is The Maze of Bones (The 39 Clues) About and Why Should I Care?

"Hey, you know Ben Franklin?"

"That old guy on the back of the hundred-dollar bill who invented electricity?"

"He didn't invent electricity, but yeah, him."

"What about him?"

"He's not just some old guy who discovered electricity. He also invented this instrument called an armonica. It's like playing a tune on glasses filled with water, but a million times better."

"That's pretty cool, I guess."

"He also wrote essays on farts."

"What? Seriously?"

"Seriously. He thought people should be able to fart proudly, without shame."

"I think people should fart proudly without shame." 

"Ew. Yes, I've noticed. Ben Franklin wanted to find a way for them to not smell like a 'stink that no company can tolerate.'"

"Where's the fun in that? Anyway, where'd you learn this stuff? At school?"

"No way. It's in this book, The Maze of Bones. There are some other neat facts in there too. It's not a history book, though. It's an adventure. There are explosions, car chases, deadly poisons and stuff, but there are historical facts in there, too. Fun history facts. Ben Franklin was also the member of a super-secret society that manipulated world events."

"No way."

"Well, that part might have been made up by Rick Riordan, but it's fun to think about."

"I want to read this. Give me yours."

"Get your own!"

The Maze of Bones (The 39 Clues) Resources


Something Fishy
We're not done spilling secrets yet. Did you see the strange website on the copyright page? now re-directs to the 39 Clues website, but it looks like it used to lead to this fake page about the Loch Ness monster. What could this have to do with the Cahills?

Need a Clue?
To get all the info you could ever want, and then some, on The 39 Clues and its sequel series, Vespers vs. Cahills, check out the official website.

The Mastermind of the Game
You may have heard of the creator of The 39 Clues. No, not Grace Cahill, but the author of the first book, Rick Riordan. His website has all you need to know about him, including upcoming signings and events.

Movies or TV Productions

39 Clues in Approximately 90 Minutes
The 39 Clues is in pre-production to hit the big screen in 2014. Who's in your dream cast?

Articles and Interviews

Get Clued In
In this Author of the Month interview, 39 Clues creator Rick Riordan reveals his favorite character and why The 39 Clues was the perfect project for him.

Super-Duper Tip-Top Secret
Rick Riordan spills the beans on the reason there are 39 clues (and not 79) and the Alfred Hitchcock connection in this interview with Scholastic.


History Comes Alive
In this video, super author Rick Riordan talks about why his kids love The 39 Clues.

Mission: Possible
Need help navigating the Cahills' online missions? This guy has a video walkthrough to get you through the sticky situations.


Hear the Clues
Sample the Maze of Bones audiobook with this short clip.

You Ain't Heard Nothing Yet
Haven't got enough? There's another audio sample here on Scholastic's website.


Where There's a Will...
Want to know exactly what Grace said in her will? Now's your chance just as though you got a golden ticket to the will reading yourself.

Celebrity Cahills
How many historical figures and celebrities are Cahills? Who can you identify in this wallpaper?

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