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The 39 Clues Book 3: The Sword Thief by Peter Lerangis

When The Sword Thief by Peter Lerangis was released all the way in March of 2009, there was nothing that I wanted to do more than read it.I had greatly enjoyed the first couple of stories in The 39 Clues kids book series, the latest one being One False Note by Gordon Korman, and the series was coming along very well. Excellent plot, excellent mystery, plus awesome characters. What more could a young ten-year old want?

The 39 Clues is a multi-author series penned by super well-liked, bestselling authors concerning orphans called Dan and Amy Cahill. When their grandmother Grace dies, they learn they are actually members of the most powerful family in the history of mankind. The source of their families power is spread all through the globe in the form of 39 clues. The individual who discovers each of the clues will become the most powerful person in the history of mankind.

Dan and Amy Cahill, unsurprisingly, are definitely not alone in wanting to find the clues. Their treacherous, back-stabbing family members will do pretty much anything they can in order to be the 1st to find the clues.

Just as all of the early additions in The 39 Clues series, I completed The Sword Thief on the very day that it came out. While this was an interesting story and moved the series along, I remember not being super contented with this book.


At the end of One False Note, Dan and Amy come across samurai swords by the area of the clue. They put two and two together and head off for Japan. Just before they’re able to board a flight for Japan, however, their cousins, Ian and Natalie Kabra, trick them and leave them helpless in the airport.

While Amy and Dan are stuck, their uncle Alistair Oh offers to help Amy and Dan and establish a partnership. All things considered, Alistair has money and property in Korea, and he also has intelligence and experience. Amy and Dan do not fully have confidence in him, but they agree to team up for the time being.

Amy, Dan, and Alastair figure out that the clue is hidden in the history of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, an amazing Japanese warrior and son of Thomas Cahill, the man who founded the Tomas branch.

The Holt family, at the same time, are likewise hot after the clue and are able to snare them into a subway trap. It seems like it is going to be curtains for Dan and Amy, but Alastair saves them before they end up being hit by a train. We also get to see the human side of the Holtchildren when they balk at the prospect of killing the Cahill kids.

Unfortunately, the 3 of them accidentally go into the property of sword-wielding Yakuza, or Japanese warriors. Nellie, their au pair, is able to save them, alongside Ian and Natalie Kabra. Amy, Dan, and Alastair all agree to create an alliance with their Kabra cousins. They do that somewhat because of the fact that Amy hasalmost a crush on Ian, and Ian is pretending as if it’s both ways.

The evidence points to Korea, and the group of six travel to Alastair’s residence. We learn more with regards to the Ekaterina branch and also about Bae Oh, Alastair’s uncle and current leader of the Ekaterina branch. After Alastair’s dad died, Alastair lived depressing years under the hand of his uncle. While traveling to Korea, however, alastair finds out for the first time that Bae Oh paid someone for Alastair’s dad to be killed.

At Alastair’s residence, he provides some of his own info with the others. We discover lots more regarding the clue hunt, specifically the fact that the thirty-nine clues are 39 chemical elements that when mixed together will create a kind of philosopher’s stone. They then travel to the mountain Pukhansan, and Dan finds a way to trick the others regarding where the clue is.

The ending is an engaging anddangerous saga, in which we discover the actual objectives of Amy and Dan’s relatives. Will Ian and Natalie acquire the clue, or will Amy and Dan outsmart them yet again? Moreimportantly, will Alastair Oh live?


Like I mentioned before, I look at this as one of the weakest books in the 39 clues series. Although Gordon Korman mentioned the way he made use of The Maze of Bones as his bible in penning One False Note, Peter Lerangis obviously didn’t follow the example. The book is penned in quite a different style in comparison to the rest of the books in the series. The other books are authored in a thrilling, detached, and realistic style. This book is considerably more relaxed, the tone of the story is more informal, and it is also not nearly as much action-packed. Additionally, it is kind of hard to comprehend. Consequently, the book loses some of its educational benefit and I honest don’t remember any of the historical info, very different from the other 39 clues books.

While some of my friends who were reading the series at the time this novel came out told me that they liked the break from the action, every one of them ceased reading The 39 Clues after this book. Not even one of my friends who started this seriesending up reading the fourth addition. In addition, books one and two were both number one on the bestseller list for quite a while. This book was on the bestseller list for a short time, but did not hit number one. None of the subsequent additions to the series did, either.

That’s to say there aren’t good parts to the way Lerangis writes, however. He introduces a possible romantic relationship between Ian and Amy that has continued throughout the series to the current books with different boyfriends and clues of crushes. This was the topic most often discussed among clue hunters during the Cahills vs. Vespers storyline, and was in my view a valuable addition to The 39 Clues series.

This book has some good information about the clue hunt that brings the story along, so it’s a must for dedicated clue hunters going back through the early books . In general, though, the writing in this story is not nearly as good as in the rest of the series and on its own I would not recommend it.

Thanks for reading this review and if you want you can read my article about Swindle by Gordon Korman. You can also check out my site for kids book reviews.


Hideout by Gordon Korman Review

Hideout by Gordon Korman is the fifth and most recent addition in the tremendously well known Swindle Series. Gordon Korman may be my favorite kids author and a highly accomplished one, possessing over 75 books to his credit. In fact, the story Swindle was a short time ago made into a motion picture by Nickelodeon.

In Hideout, Korman keeps the Swindle Series rolling with yet another exciting adventure. In Swindle, Griffin Bing and his buddies faced an unkind guy who they dub “Swindle” who swindled a baseball card worth $1.2 million from their hands.

After exposing Swindle and forcing him to close down his shop, they also take his guard dog, Luthor. Luthor is a vicious hound, but Griffin’s close friend Savannah is pretty much an animal whisperer and becomes pals with the mutt.

In this exciting adventure, Palomino is back once again, and he intends to take back possession of Luthor. Surely, Savannah is not about to just let that happen. At the time of this adventure the kids are away for camp, and they are forced to organize an enormously involved series of plans just to keep Swindle’s hired henchmen from stealing back the dog. There is no person better to coordinate it than Griffin Bing, the “Man with the Plan.”

Griffin and his gang are all stationed at three different camps. Palomino sends his goons after each one, and they have to hide the mutt from both the attackers and the rest of the camp. Hideout is divided into three different portions or hideouts, each of them focused on in the period that the mutt is being housed at their respective camp.

The book starts with the mutt stowing away with Griffin and Savannah to their summer camp. After their whereabouts is compromised, they switch the canine over to Melissa and Logan. Melissa became a member of Griffin’s gang as a consequence of her extremely impressive computer capabilities, and Logan was recruited on account of his skills of being a good actor.

Luthor eventually ends up in the hands of Pitch and Ben. Pitch is an outstanding climber, and Ben can fit into small spaces and is a great friend of Griffin’s. Each and every person in the gang has their own individual speciality which enables them to operate together as a team.

This book is far from serious. Even though Griffin and his friends are being chased by a criminal, Hideout is interspersed with the enjoyable personalities of each of the members of the group and tons of comedy. The ending, in which Palomino and his hired henchmen go face to face with Griffin and his friends, is a hilarious and captivating tale.

This is a very well written story and yet another awesome addition in the series. It can’t be easy to continue to come up with awesome stand-alone novels by the time you come to the 5th addition in a series with the exact same characters. Korman is up to the challenge.

Honestly, however, I’m not all that excited for the 6th book in the series, Jackpot. If I was in Korman’s shoes, I would stop it right now, considering I feel as though it’s getting to be a little bit long in the tooth. How many times can you get stoked for reading about the exact same group of kids having some version of virtually the same adventure?

Even so, that fact doesn’t detract from the strength of this story. I’d very highly recommend for preteens (around the ages of nine to twelve) to read Hideout. Notice the great reviews of this book on Amazon. There is literally not a single person who says they or their children did not like this book. Korman’s books are guaranteed to be kid pleasers, and this story is no exception.

Before you read Hideout, though, I would advise to read the original Swindle. Whilst it’s not necessary to comprehend and appreciate the story, it does help a lot to have an understanding of the conflict. Furthermore, Swindle is an amazing book.

Overall, there is not really a lot of criticism I can give to this book. For most of his career, Gordon Korman authored humorous novels. Only in the late 90’s was it that he began to write books about adventure. I feel as though he’s now mastered merging these two writing styles into one in order to create a suspenseful but also hilarious story. This is classic Gordon Korman at his best.

Thank you very much for taking a look at this review and if you’d like check out the book Animal Farm by George Orwell or my website featuring kids book reviews.

Six Books for Tweens that will Blow Your Socks Off

You would like your tween to read, but you don’t want to give them a poor book? Here are a few awesome books that both you and your children can love.

1. The 39 Clues

This is still my favoritefiction book! None of these listed here are actually just a single novel, but , on the contrary, a series. This one is still being written, and they are at this moment on the 2nd series titled Cahills vs. Vespers.

This is a series focused on two youngsters, Amy and Dan Cahill (11 and 14 respectively; though of course their age increaszes as the series continues), who find out when their grandmother Grace dies that they’re part of the greatest clan the planet has at any time seen. Politicians, businessmen, inventors, scientists, mathematicians, spies; whatever. The origin of the families power is 39 clues, which over the years have been scattered all over the planet. Whichever individual locates all thirty nine clues will become the most powerful person in human history.

So Amy and Dan have to make a decision at the funeral, two million dollars or a hint to the first clue. For a couple of penniless orphans, two million dollars is truly a fortune, of course, though, they accept the clue.

It turns out there are four branches in the family, and thousands of Cahill’s, each willing to do whataver necessary to get the clues first; even murder. They travel all across the world in a quest for the clues. Shocking secrets, amazing escapes, and even fatalities go along with the hunt. There is additionally a ton of historical information, so it’s possible to gain much knowledge a lot, too.

Another cool thing about it is that it’s a multi-author series,featuring famous authors such as Rick Riordan, Gordon Korman, Patrick Carman, Margaret Peterson Haddix, and more.

What really sets it apart is that it’s not just the books, but there are also cards included that you can enter into their website, and also plenty of games in your own search for the clues.

Although you can begin at anyplace, I’d advocate starting at the beginning of the series. Highly recommended.

Buy the first book in The 39 Clues series, The Maze of Bones, by Rick Riordan.

2. Swindle

This is another on-going series, written by the writer of 3 of the titles in The 39 Clues, Gordon Korman. There are currently four books out. All of them are action-packed adventures about a young adult named Griffin Bing (The Man with the Plan) and his friends. Griffin is constantly attempting to get into things and right wrongs. In Swindle, Griffin and his best friend Ben Slovak found a 1920 Babe Ruth baseball card. They bring it to a collector to see if it’s worth anything and the guy swindles him. He gives him $ 100, but, actually, it’sworth over a million dollars.

So they attempt to right this wrong and take the card back. The theft involves a bunch of other kids, and even the police get involved eventually. Very, very, exciting fast paced and exciting books. Kids just love this series!

Purchase Swindle by Gordon Korman.

3. On the Run

This is also another series (one six-book series and a follow-up trilogy) about two kids named Aiden and Meg Falconer whose parents get convicted as terrorists for life in “the trial of the century.” Everyone in the country knows about this trial; and everyone hates the Falconers.

This is terrible for Aiden and Meg, for obvious reasons. They aim foster care, but everyone hates their parents to such a degree that there is continual tension. So eventually they get sent to a low-security prison in order to take them out of the limelight for a while.

But it’s dreadful. They have to work on a farm and do school most of the day, living amonst hardened criminals. Meg desires to escape from there to prove their parents innocene, but Aiden acknowledges not in the realm of possiblity. Except for one day, a fire occurs. Aiden makes the decision to let it go and burn the place down, so they can get out of there. Others jump, too, but one by one, the others get caught.

Aiden and Meg need to track down a CIA agent who worked with their parents for the government. The problem: He’s no where to be found. Not only is the government after them, but additionally a cold-blooded killer nicknamed Hairless Joe.

This is one of my all-time favorite series, an action-packed adventure that will keep you guessing.

Purchase the first book in the series, Chasing the Falconers by Gordon Korman.

4. The Kid who Ran for President

This is a a lot more laid back and humorous book than the others, also by a separate novelist named Dan Gutman, another one of my favorite authors. These 2 books are my absolute favorites of his works (the other one in this series being the sequel The Kid who Became President).

They are about a kid named Judson Moon who decides to run for President as a joke and ends up making it a close election, thanks to his genius friend Lane Brainard, who serves as his campaign manager. While a little young and rudimentary for older tweens, it can be a very enjoyable and interesting read for some. Gutman is a professional comedian, these books are hilarious! This is the type of thing kids dream of, too. There are several occasionsi when reading this story that you’ll find yourself literally laughing out loud.

Get, The Kid who Ran for President by Dan Gutman.

5. Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer

This is the acclaimed John Grisham’s initial enterprise into books for young readers. While I haven’t read his adult books, I can certainly declare that this series is superb!

The first book talks about a 13 year old only child whoseparents are both lawyers. He is extremely fascinated by the legal system, as would be expected, and constantly sneaks away from school so he can go down and watch the courtroom proceedings.

The plot of the book is one of the biggest trials in the city for a long while; a murder trial. The prosecution alleges that a gentlemanknown as Pete Duffy killed his wife after she mysteriously dies. But other than suspicion, there exists absolutely zero evidence to actually support such a claim. He’s going to go free.

But Theo discovers a otherwise totally unknown witness who can blow the whistle on Duffy. The problem: Will he come forth? And will he be believed?

The trial is in fact not ended in this book, but is postponed until the third book in the series. It’s a very interesting book about the court system and a good case. Some have experienced boredom while reading book, and I agree it is probably more for intellectually-minded kids. These books are not close to as fast-paced as the first three, nor does it include the humor of the above. However, it’s still an intriguing read that a great deal of older kids will enjoy.

Get Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham.

6. Last Shot

This is the first in a sports series by John Feinstein. The protagonists are fourteen year-olds Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol. They are the two victors of a writing contest and so they get to travel out to write about the Final Four basketball tournament.

While there, they discover a plot to blackmail a star player, Chip Graber to throw a game on purpose. Stevie and Susan Carol collaborate with Chip to discover what is going on and to bust the guys who are orchestrating this. There are copies of these books for baseball (Change Up), football (Cover Up and The Rivlary; the former being the Super Bowl and the latter being about Army vs. Navy), and tennis (Vanishing Act), all with different plots and mysteries. There is practically no regard for previous plot-lines, so it could be a good idea to start your tween in whichever his favorite sport is.

There are various turns of plot in here that make the tale exciting front to cover.

Buy Last Shot, Vanishing Act, Cover Up, Change Up, or The Rivalry by John Feinstein.

So there you have it. Six breathtakingly awesome series that combine for a total of 35 great books. Many of these you really can’t go wrong with, and I’m sure your tween will agree.

Many thanks for reading this post! If you liked this article, click here to check out my website or my post on Showoff by Gordon Korman.