Tuesday, March 03, 2009

“If your great umbrage would care to meet my high dudgeon at 12 paces, I would be happy to entertain you at dawn.”

The third 39 Clues book came out today. Unless you are an eight-year-old boy, or the parent of an eight-year-old boy, I don't expect you to realize the import of today's events. It seems to be, at least to Primo, somewhat akin to the Harry Potter mania. But without costumes. Or maybe Webkinz, without the little animals, and more...cerebral.

From Powell's:
The 39 Clues is Scholastic's groundbreaking new series, spanning 10 adrenaline-charged books, 350 trading cards, and an online game where readers play a part in the story and compete for over $100,000 in prizes.

The 39 Clues books set the story, and the cards, website and game allow kids to participate in it. Kids visit the website — www.the39clues.com — and discover they are lost members of the Cahill family. They set up online accounts where they can compete against other kids and against Cahill characters to find all 39 clues. Through the website, kids can track their points and clues, manage their card collections, dig through the Cahill archives for secrets, and "travel" the world to collect Cahill artifacts, interview characters, and hunt down clues. Collecting cards helps: Each card is a piece of evidence containing information on a Cahill, a clue, or a family secret.

Pret-ttty darn cool, eh? Primo dived headfirst into the Internet phenomenon of this series, aided and abetted by his mother, who understands all too well the desperate desire to read a new book RIGHT. NOW. DAMMIT. (In fact, his mother even rescinded her homework-before-all-else rules tonight and let him finish the book before tackling the homework.)(And let him use HER laptop to register his new cards. Greater love, blahblahblah....)

When at B&N this afternoon (yes, I made a special trip, shut up, you would, too), the lady who works the kids' section (but seemingly knows only what the little cover blurbs and PW says about most children's books, which I find distinctly odd) recommended Trenton Lee Stewart's The Mysterious Benedict Society. Now I don't need to know if it's good, because I already bought it and intend to read it before passing it on to Primo to keep him occupied for a few hours; what I need to know, and I need you, my 'netties, to help me with, is this:

Recently, at least, within the past year, maybe, I read an adult book with a cover screamingly similar to this. And yet I can't dredge up from the soggy depths of my brain what book it was. Helllllpppp. Meeeeeeee. Help! before my brain drowns and all prior knowledge with it.

Because it's driving me CRAZY.


*Benedict Arnold (The man was surprisingly snarky and amusing.)


Anonymous said...

Maybe it's because we were just trading comments about it, but it reminds me of the cover of The Monsters of Templeton. Not the actual content of the illustration, but the style. I kind of wish I had an 8 year old boy--that book/game looks awesome.

BabelBabe said...

yeah, I thought so too at first. but the cover I am considering, if I could ever remember it, is almost identical except for the text.

Jess said...

If he likes all the clue-solving, The Mysterious Benedict Society will be perfect - I haven't read the sequel yet, but I've been assured it's good.

I can't think of an adult book with a similar cover, but the illustrator is Carson Ellis, who also does cover art for the Decemberists. Are you thinking of something in the same style?

Eleanor said...

Sorry I can't help with the cover, but I do love it.

I love hearing about the latest kids' book craze and this one is completely new to me (my son will be turning 14 this month...sigh...). Absolutely fascinating, so I googled it to read some more, and noticed Spielberg has already bought the rights for a movie. You're so lucky to have a son just the right age for it! Enjoy!

delta said...

OK, it looks familiar to me, too. I had a sudden flash: a light blue/teal cover and the same twirly ribbon thing with words. Like it was from a template or something. I am thinking a book of children's poems or short pieces. A thin paperback. Like something I would have ordered from the Uncommon Reader when the boys were little. And maybe even passed on to YOU!!!

delta said...

I agree. It is another book cover illustration by Carson Ellis.

Kathy said...

I was going to say The Monster of Templeton then I was going to say The View from Saturday. but I just looked at that cover and it's not that one. So now I don't know.

Duyvken said...

That does look familiar... but the brain does not like recalling book details like covers and character's names. Such a pain when discussing books with people, I swear they think I'm pretending I've read it :-)