Study Guide

The Maze of Bones (The 39 Clues) Chapter 5

By Rick Riordan

Chapter 5

  • In the hidden basement, Amy, Dan, and Alistair find a giant secret library.
  • Before they find the book that Amy is looking for, she finds something else on the S shelf: Saladin the cat.
  • She also finds Grace's jewelry box under the cat. We're not sure why the jewelry box is in the S section. Shelved under "shiny swag"?
  • The jewelry box holds diamond bracelets, earrings, and Grace's jade dragon necklace, which is Amy's favorite.
  • Somehow she takes her mind off the shiny swag and gets back on track. There's a clue to solve, after all. Amy realizes that Richard Saunders must be shelved in the F section.
  • No, this isn't because people used to confuse F's and S's all the time. It's because Richard Saunders was an alias for Benjamin Franklin when he wrote Poor Richard's Almanack.
  • Infide... er, inside Grace's copy of the Almanack is a clue, handwritten by Dan and Amy's mother: "Follow Franklin, first clue, Maze of Bones" (5.60).
  • They haven't had time even to think about the clue before they smell smoke. The mansion is on fire. We hope Grace's secret library has a fire evacuation plan. 
  • In the ensuing kerfuffle, they get separated from uncle Alistair, but they at least get the cat out through another secret passage.
  • Outside in the fresh air, the kids see Mr. McIntyre sprawled out on the pavement. Uncle Alistair walks right over his unconscious body. 
  • Dan notices that a creepy man in black (not Will Smith) is watching them through binoculars, so he and Amy hide.
  • When the man in black leaves, Amy rushes over to Mr. McIntyre and dials 911 on his cell phone. 
  • Waiting for the paramedics, they realize that Alistair stole the Almanack.

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