Book Review – The 39 Clues, Book 1: The Maze of Bones

Maybe I’m a bit of a cheeseball, but I like to give ratings to the books I read, similar to movie ratings, in addition to a traditional review. I’ve always thought the G, PG, PG13, and R ratings were a little limited however, so I’ve started using my own system – with the same basic ratings, only using numbers after the PG that are based on age. So instead of only having PG13, which means it’s okay for kids over 13, I use PG5, PG6, PG7, etc, based on my own estimation of what age it’s first appropriate for. Anything under age 5 will probably be G. Anyway, here’s my review of The Maze of Bones:

PG 6: for action and thematic stuff. The main characters are constantly in danger, and can’t trust anyone. A very clean and action-packed mystery.

This is the first Rick Riordan I’ve read yet, and I’d have to say, I’m very impressed. It’s a treasure hunt, and the first of a series. And it’s a good, clean read. Sometimes super-clean reads get the reputation of being boring. This one is not. It’s very entertaining, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys adventure, treasure hunts, mysteries, historical fiction (it’s not historical fiction, but it uses a sort of National Treasure approach to the hunt), or YA fiction.

I suspect this would also be a great book to read out loud to kids. It’s thick enough that a 6 year old probably isn’t going to try it (if they do, AWESOME!), but I think they would really enjoy having it read to them.

Episode 12



Alice sat down behind the information desk, exhausted at the end of a full day.  In the early afternoon, a school class had come on a field trip to the library, and Alice was the only one available to give them a tour and read to them.  Then after school let out, one of the local scout troops had come for some merit badge… something.  Somehow it felt like she was catching up on everything else for the rest of the day.  But now it was 8 pm, the library was closed, and the doors were locked.  She slumped back in the chair, tempted to fall asleep right at the computer.

She looked down at a paper next to the keyboard.  She had nearly forgotten about her research on local history.  The sticky note had the names of the books Matt Robinson had brought in.

There was something strange about Matt.  When he had come in the library that morning, he had been dressed in an outfit that Alice would have described as being appropriate for a mountain-man, and he was accompanied by a young kid of ten or eleven.  His attitude had been very direct and determined, though she had assumed that he was a foreigner.  He acted like he’d never seen the inside of a library before, and was very conscious of everything happening around him.

But when he returned in the afternoon, he was Continue reading Episode 12

Making Moments: Adventure


TabToday Tootles and I went on an adventure! Jenni and Lunch Bucket went to a bridal shower, so Tootles and I went on an adventure while they were gone.

TabWe drove to a downtown area, where we stopped at a gardening store (my choice) and a candy store (Tootle’s choice) and bought some licorice. We also stopped at a music store (my choice), and a small park (Tootle’s choice). But I realized the adventure would be cut short when Tootles started emanating a suspiciously unpleasant scent. Unfortunately, I hadn’t brought a diaper bag.
TabSo we left after the park – but not before the part of the adventure where we discovered bear tracks! They were in the grocery store in the ice-cream section, so we took some home. Soon Tootles had bear tracks all over his face.

The Princess is Sleeping

You can probably imagine why these videos made me think of Toodles and Lunch Bucket. These guys know what play is really about. Play them full-screen if you want the full effect…