05 July 2011

Book Review Number 71: Beyond the Grave by Jude Watson (The 39 Clues, Book 4)

The fourth book in the 39 Clues series finds the Cahill kids in Egypt, chasing the next clue after the supposed death of Alistair Oh.  They start their journey at an Egyptian hotel that is so much more to the Cahills and are immediately put into danger.  It isn't long before they meet Hilary, an old friend of Grace's.  Hilary and her grandson, Theo, seem to want to help the kids along on their journey, but things aren't always the way they seem.  Nellie, the kids' au pair and adult companion on their journey, has a thing for Theo, which further complicates matters. By the end of the book, the kids have found out more about their family legacy and have the next clue to move them forward.

Like the other 39 Clues books, Beyond the Grave teaches as it entertains.  And, in my opinion, this is one of the best things about this series - the fact that kids who read it (and adults, to be honest) learn something about the world around them.  Beyond the Grave gives the reader a glimpse into Egypt's history, the interesting facts of the pyramids and, a real draw for most young boys I know, the truth about mummies.

I had a hard time listening to this one, though not because of the book.  The kids are starting to get bored with the books, so they made a lot of noise while I was trying to listen to them.  But what I did here, I really enjoyed.  I waited anxiously to hear how Amy and Dan were going to get out of the newest trap that they'd been lured to.  I sighed, hoping that Nellie's crush wouldn't prevent her from helping her charges.  I chuckled at the antics of Saladin (Grace's Egyptian Mao) when he knew he was in the place he was worshiped.

This was a nice, strong book in the series.  It helped advance the plot, it taught interesting facts and it had me wanting to know what was going to happen next.  If you're reading along the series, don't stop at The Sword Thief.  Definitely continue on to Beyond the Grave.