Wednesday, February 19, 2020

“The 39 Clues” Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway – Stop #5 For “The Black Circle”

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I usually write about technology, gadgets, software, hardware and other gizmos. I also have been know to talk about parenting from time to time. One thing that I preach to my kids (but unfortunately don’t practice as much as I should) is that of reading. And this is odd because I was an English Major and have lots of books on my shelves. I guess that most of my reading takes place on-line.


So, when I was approached to talk about a book series for kids, I was very intrigued. But as I learned more about it (and actually started reading the 1st book of the series), I definitely got much more excited about doing this post. The book series is called “The 39 Clues“. It is a collection of 10 distinct books (the 10th is being released shortly) written by 7 different authors:

Book 1: The Maze of Bones (September 9, 2008) by Rick Riordan
Book 2: One False Note (December 2, 2008) by Gordon Korman
Book 3: The Sword Thief (March 3, 2009) by Peter Lerangis
Book 4: Beyond the Grave (June 2, 2009) by Jude Watson
Book 5: The Black Circle (August 11, 2009) by Patrick Carman
Book 6: In Too Deep (November 3, 2009) by Jude Watson
Book 7: The Viper’s Nest (February 2, 2010) by Peter Lerangis
Book 8: The Emperor’s Code (April 6, 2010) by Gordon Korman
Book 9: Storm Warning (May 25, 2010) by Linda Sue Park
Book 10: Into the Gauntlet (August 31, 2010) by Margaret Peterson Haddix

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About The 39 Clues Series

The series centers around “the most powerful family the world has ever known,” the Cahills. The matriarch of the family, Grace Cahill, in her passing, leaves a unique challenge to those descendants who want to take it. First they must choose between receiving a million dollars or getting a clue to the challenge. If the descendants choose a clue, they then embark on an adventure that leads them around the world, seeking out subsequent clues. As family members are pitted against each other, there is a race to find all of the clues first. The books focus on two main characters, a brother and sister team, specifically Amy Cahill (age 14) and Dan Cahill (age 11).

As I mentioned, each of these books is written by a single author and the books are set in different countries or areas around the globe. This strategy, I feel, is a great one to get children involved in learning about cultures outside of their own. My children, unfortunately, have not discovered The 39 Clues (yet) but have definitely heard of the series from their peers. I am about 1/2 of the way through the Book 1 (“The Maze of Bones”) so that I could get more of an understanding of the Series.

But The 39 Clues is not simply about reading books, there is an interactive element to it as well. Readers can collect Cards as well as participate in an online game to further their immersion into the hunt for clues. In the online game, you create an account and then become part of the Cahill family  in their search for the 39 Clues. You can find out more information about the books and the authors as well.


Virtual Book Tour

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As part of the launch and the 39 day countdown to the release of Book #10 called “Into the Gauntlet”, Scholastic is doing a virtual book tour, and is stop #5. There are 10 blogs that are participating in this book tour so be sure to visit each of them:

July 23 Techmamas: “The Maze of Bones” by Rick Riordan (Book #1)
July 27 Brimful Curiosities: “One False Note” by Gordon Korman (Book #2)
July 30 Susen Haim On Parenting: “The Sword Thief” by Peter Lerangis (Book #3)
Aug 4 Manic Mommies: “Beyond the Grave” by Jude Watson (Book #4)
Aug 9 HighTechDad:  “The Black Circle” by Patrick Carman (Book #5)
Aug 12 Tree, Root, and Twig: “In Too Deep” by Jude Watson (Book #6)
Aug 18 The Children’s Book Review:  “The Viper’s Nest” by Peter Lerangis (Book #7)
Aug 23 Robyn’s Online World: “The Emperor’s Code” by Gordon Korman (Book #8)
Aug 26 On Our Minds @Scholastic: “Storm Warning”  by Linda Sue Park (Book #9)
Aug 31 5 Minutes For Mom:  “Into the Gauntlet” by Margaret Peterson Haddix (Book #10)

I was able to spend some time with the author of Book #5, Patrick Carman. His book is titled “The Black Circle”. Patrick has written other books including:

  • Trackers
  • Thirteen Days to Midnight
  • Skeleton Creek
  • Elliot’s Park
  • Atherton
  • The Land of Elyon


His website is located at

Below is a video interview I had with Patrick. (Please forgive the video quality.)

Be sure to take a look at some of the other sites on the 39 Clues book tour as they have different content about The 39 Clues and the specific books.

Book Giveaway

During this virtual book tour, each of the blogs listed above will be giving away a some of the books from the series. Here is a hint…the further down the list the blog is, the more books in the series you could win. So, for my giveaway, you can receive Books 1-5 and Book #5 is signed by the author Patrick Carman.

How To Enter

In order to enter, you need to answer ONE of the following questions: “If a movie were to be done on The 39 Clues, who do YOU think should play Amy and Dan?” OR “Do you think the mixing of books, trading cards and websites for a clue-giving search is a good idea or bad one and why?

Here are a few ways to enter in this giveaway:

  • Leave comment on this blog
  • Follow me (@HighTechDad) and send me a Twitter message (leave a comment on this post with the Twitter link)
  • Post a blog post and link to this article (leave a comment on this post with the direct link)

Some rules for entry:

  • You must leave a valid email address (either through the comments or some other way so that I can contact you)
  • Contest is open to US Residents only
  • Contest Ends on Tuesday, August 31st, 2010 at 11:59 PM CST.
  • Winner will be randomly selected and notified via email
  • If the 1st choice winner does not respond within 1 day (24 hours) a second winner will be selected.

WINNER selection – I chose a random number between 1-12 and it was 5 which means that the 5th commenter (oldest to most recent comment) won the giveaway – Congrats to Mesreads (MSEREADS on Twitter) for winning the giveaway.

Disclosure Text : I have a material connection because I received a gift or sample of a product for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was/am not expected to return this item or gift after my review period. More information can be found in my About page as well as here.

HTD says: What is your favorite childhood book series?





  1. I think that Dakota Fanning should play Amy and Max Records (Where the Wild Things Are) for Dan.

  2. the people who were selected to be those characters in pictures on the trading cards or the backs of some of the book.bottom line-the first people to portray the characters should be in the movie

  3. I think annasophia robb or abigail breslin and maybe liam james as the boy or an unknown
    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  4. I think it was a great idea to mix the books with a website and cards. Having several venues to explore really gets the kids invested in the series and in reading.
    jcottey at aol dot com

  5. I think the mixing of books, and websites for a clue-giving search is a great way to advertise the books and it makes it seem like a game.

  6. How about those kids who play brother and sister on Wizards of Waverly Place? Selena Gomez and Jake T Austin. They are big, big, big with the young crowd these days!

Comments are closed.

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