Gordon Korman

Book Review: Titanic #1: Unsinkable

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Titanic #1: Unsinkable 

Written by Gordon  Korman
Published May 1, 2011 by Scholastic Paperbacks
Genre/Topics: Historical Fiction, Titanic, Adventure 
Ages: 8+, 176 pages 
 

This is the first book in a series of three about the Titanic’s maiden voyage. The book switches perspectives to four young characters who eventually all meet abroad the Titanic. Paddy is a stowaway who is running away from danger. Alfie is a junior crew member who lied about his age to work on Titanic. Juliana is travelling with her father, a wealthy Earl, who is often drunk and gambling. Sophie travels with her mother who campaigns for women’s rights and was arrested. In this book, Unsinkable, there is great excitement as the gigantic RMS Titanic Ship is about to set sail for the first time and is supposedly unsinkable. The book is a quick read and ends with a cliff hanger. Luckily, all the books are published so you can read the entire series.

RMS Titanic departing Southampton on April 10,...
RMS Titanic departing Southampton on April 10, 1912 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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Book Review: The 39 Clues Series

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The 39 Clues Series
Written by Rick RiordanGordon KormanPeter LerangisJude WatsonPatrick Carman, Linda Sue Park , Margaret Peterson Haddix 
Published: 2008-2010 by Scholastic 
Ages: 9 + Genre: Adventure, Mystery, Suspense 
 

I’m surprised it took me so long to discover the exciting adventures in The 39 Clues. I’ve only read the first book, but I think it has potential for an exciting series. When a relative dies, Dan and Amy Cahill are given the opportunity to take a million dollars or take the first clue that leads them on dangerous hunt to discover the source of the family’s power. Dan and Amy are practically like orphans, since their parents died when they were young and their old aunt hires au pairs. I enjoyed this book for several reasons. The perspectives switch between Dan and Amy, so both boys and girls can view themselves on the hunt for clues. There is a strong and positive sibling connection as they work together, but there’s still humor and normal teasing between brother and sister. The 39 Clues explores secrets and knowledge from the past, since the Cahill family has been powerful throughout history. Readers learn about historic events and important individuals, such as Benjamin Franklin, without being boring. The first book, The Maze of Bonesliterally was a cliff hanger that gets you ready for the next book.

The books themselves are great, but the reader becomes more involved through online interactions and collecting trading cards. You become an agent and attempt to solve clues. One thing I didn’t like was that you needed to put the card’s code that came with the book to gain further access online. Well, I didn’t have a card since I read the book from the library. Individuals sort themselves into the Cahill family with a mini quiz. I’m on the Ekaterina branch. Another great thing about this series is that it’s written by multiple authors. The hope is that readers will discover new authors to enjoy after reading The 39 Clues. 

www.the39clues.com

www.scholastic.com/teachthe39clues

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