Friday, January 28, 2011

Into the Gauntlet by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Amazon Product Description: 

Throughout the hunt for the 39 Clues, Amy and Dan Cahill have uncovered history's greatest mysteries and their family's deadliest secrets. But are they ready to face the truth about the Cahills and the key to their unmatched power? After a whirlwind race that's taken them across five continents, Amy and Dan face the most the difficult challenge yet- a task no Cahill dared to imagine. When faced with a choice that could change the future of the world, can two kids succeed where 500 years worth of famous ancestors failed?

This is one series I have truly enjoyed from the beginning to the latest book.  When I first heard that each book in the series would be written by a different author, I was not too sure how that would work. I wondered if they would follow a plan or would each author just take off on their own tangent. Did they get together on Skype to discuss the next adventure? Did they have conference calls?  I don't know. What I do know is that for me, whatever they did worked.

I've often referred to this series as National Treasure for kids. It's fiction, pure and simple, but it does introduce children to famous historical events and people. I've had students ask for books about those famous people after reading one of The 39 Clues books.

Into the Gauntlet is my favorite of all the books (sorry, Rick, Maze of Bones was my favorite until I read this one.)  I've always liked Haddix's writing style. It's generally full of adventure and excitement. This book is no exception, but that's not why I liked this one so much. When I read Into The Guantlet, I truly felt we were seeing all the characters grow. Dan and Amy were not just the good-goody two shoes  underdog team.  The other teams were not just clones of their evil, self centered parents. In this installment we see the young team members begin to think for themselves and to make a choice between good and bad.

I also thought that by the time we reached book ten, I would be ready for the story to end. However, as I neared the end of this book, I found myself wishing there would be more books. I must not have been the only one, because there is indeed another book scheduled to be released in April: Vespers Rising by Rick Riordan, Perter Lerangis, Gordon Korman and Jude Watson.  I'm looking forward to reading about Dan, Amy and the rest of the Cahill's adventures.

Recommended for 3rd Grade and up.

Mrs. Archer's rating: 5 of 5

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