For Christmas last year we gave Douglas the first two books in The 39 Clues series,The Maze of Bones and One False Note.
While we had fun with the website over the holidays, he wasn’t too into the books. I read and enjoyed them, but couldn’t get him to read.
Until this week, when he got the third book, The Sword Thief. That seemed to motivate him to start reading, and once he got going with the tale, he was hooked.
Here’s my take on the series.
Yes, it’s largely about merchandising. Your experience on the website is much better if you are also reading the books and acquiring a certain number of the trading cards.
But it is entertaining. Doug and I spent at least an hour together online checking out the new stuff today. Most kids sites bore me, but this is fun for both of us.
It is something we can do together and that’s worth a lot.
Some of the missions seem unnecessarily difficult. For example, mission 3 (the snake charmer) which we did today. Much too hard for Douglas so I had to do it. I spent more than an hour at it, only to achieve it and have the system log me out before I could get the clue. Needless to say, not a happy mom. Another 30 minutes later, and we finally had the clue, but I wonder why Scholastic has made some of the tasks so challenging.
Shouldn’t it still be fun? Otherwise, why would we keep at it? And let me tell you, snake charmer was NO FUN.
We’ll keep at it, at least through the summer. But, Scholastic, please think about the kids. Don’t make the missions so hard that they can’t do them on their own.