Maze of BonesTitle: The Maze of Bones
Author: Rick Riordan
ISBN: 0545060397
Pages: 220 pages
Publisher/Date: Scholastic Inc., c2008.

“If you so choose, each one of you may walk out of this room with one million dollars and never have to think of Grace Cahill or her last wishes again. Or . . . you may choose a clue — a single clue that will be your only inheritance. No money. No property. Just a clue that might lead you to the most important treasure in the world and make you powerful beyond belief . . . ”
William’s gray eyes seemed to settle on Dan particularly. “. . . or it might kill you. One million dollars or the clue. You have five minutes to decide.” (20)

Dan and Amy Cahill’s grandmother, Grace Cahill, has just passed away. But at the reading of her will, both children find out that they were left more then they were bargained. Instead of a piece of jewelry or maybe the cat, everyone is given the choice: take one million dollars and run, or forfeit the money for a clue and a promise of power if they succeed in solving all 39 clues. Beginning in Boston, the seven teams quickly end up in a round the world trip, with Amy and Dan dragging along their college-aged “au pair” Nellie. But for some reason (maybe because everyone knew Dan and Amy were Grace’s favorite relatives), the rest of the teams believe Dan and Amy have an advantage. They’re going to do everything in their power to stop them from solving the clues first. Clues are hiden everywhere, and readers have to pay special attention to everything, including what page they’re on…

Scholastic is pulling out all the stops with this series, involving a website, a card game, and a cash prize. Fans of the National Treasure movie series will love these books, because they have the same pacing and tie into history. Combining anagrams, number puzzles, and historical trivia, it’s going to spark a lot of searches for kids to learn more information about these historical figures. The books are each released about 3 months apart, which leaves just enough time for readers to get through one book before the newest one comes out. There are some realistic dynamics about Amy and Dan. I apparently am not as careful reader as you should be with this series, because there are clues in the page numbers about half way through the book, which I didn’t realize until I went searching online. See if you can figure it out…. 🙂