The 39 Clues adventure continues with 4th book

book41As the 4th installment of The 39 Clues series hits bookstore shelves this month, thousands of kids around the world embark on another leg in the quest for the Cahill family treasure.

Beyond the Grave by Jude Watson is the latest book in the action-adventure series that has taken the world by storm, released alongside The 39 Clues Card Pack 2: Branch vs. Branch, a new wave of randomly assorted collectible game cards, to span Books 4, 5, and 6, plus the simultaneous audiobook edition of “Beyond the Grave” which includes exclusive bonus material.

With over 3 million books in print, the series’ interactive reading experience is a hit with kids worldwide, with more than 500,000 online game users from 191 countries on The 39 Clues website (, and more members joining each day.

The 39 Clues features 11-year old Dan and 14-year old Amy Cahill, who discover that they belong to the world’s most powerful family. When their grandmother Grace passes away, they are made to choose their inheritance: one million dollars each, or the first clue in the quest for the legacy of the Cahill family. Choosing the key to their family’s source of power, Dan and Amy embark on a thrilling quest, with the rest of the Cahills hot on their heels in a race to a reward beyond measure.

New author, new revelations

In Beyond the Grave, Dan and Amy, together with their au pair Nellie Gomez and their cat Saladin, hie off to mysterious Egypt, heirs to an age-old secret of a family that has produced the greatest minds in world history. There, the Egyptian goddess Sakhet, the female pharaoh Hatshepsut, the Egyptian queen Nefertari, and the goddess Isis hold the answers as they get one step closer to the Cahill family legacy, in the same manner Benjamin Franklin, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Toyotomi Hideyoshi have revealed clues in the past three installments.

Another rip-roaring adventure awaits Dan and Amy in Beyond the Grave as they receive a message from their late grandmother Grace, stumble upon the stronghold of another branch of the Cahill family, make new friends and foes, and narrowly escape the dastardly tactics of the other Cahills who are hot on their trail to beat them to the Cahill legacy.

Beyond the Grave author Jude Watson


Jude Watson (a pseudonym of Judy Blundell) joins the topnotch roster of authors in Scholastic’s bestselling series, and is the first female author to do so. Watson rose to fame with the most successful licensing series of all time, Star Wars: Last of the Jedi and Jedi Quest books, and was awarded the 2008 National Book Award in the Young People’s Literature category for her novel, What I Saw and How I Lied.

“Writing this book was a blast!” states Watson. “As a writer, it was an exciting challenge to pick up from Dan and Amy’s adventures in Asia in The Sword Thief and whisk them off to Cairo. I hope readers will be as swept away as I was by the ancient mysteries of Egypt and the search for the clues in Beyond the Grave.”

Watson lends a softer touch to the series as Beyond the Grave does not only quench the readers’ thirst for adventure, but also reveals different sides to the series’ main characters. Aside from thrilling chases, sabotage, and deception, Dan and Amy also have to deal with the implications of their grandmother’s death, which challenges their trust in their beloved grandmother and their relationship as brother and sister.

Watson also takes on a more sensitive approach to some of the notorious Cahills that have been in sly competition with Dan and Amy, such as the menacing Bae and Alistair Oh, and the tough KGB agent Irina Spasky, shedding light on their motivations and even drawing a bit of sympathy for them.


Added mystery

Unlike the previous three books, Beyond the Grave does not reveal the next stop for the Cahills in their race around the world for clues to the Cahill family secrets, as it poses another mystery for the readers to solve.

Scholastic launches a new online campaign on The 39 Clues website, featuring a 6-part exclusive video report with an interview with Jude Watson, and in the next video installments with Patrick Carman, author of Book 5: The Black Circle. Each report contains a special password leading to free digital “evidence cards” to be released exclusively on the website, and Amy and Dan’s next global destination will be confirmed upon the release of Book 5: The Black Circle on August 11, 2009.

Beyond the Grave is poised to take over the bestseller charts, following the success of the first three installments in the series.

After its release in September 2008, the first book, Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan graced the NY Times Bestseller List for 10 consecutive weeks, followed by One False Note by Gordon Korman, which debuted at #1. Likewise, The Sword Thief by Peter Lerangis, catapulted the series to the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.

The 39 Clues offers a revolutionary approach to reading: multi-platform interactivity, with additional components that enhance the reading experience: collectible game cards; online role-playing games; sweepstakes across several territories; and even a possible film franchise, with movie rights acquired by DreamWorks Studios and Steven Spielberg eyeing to direct.

With six more books on the way in this landmark series, The 39 Clues sets a new standard in children’s books, bridging the gap between technology and reading, and finding a new way for kids to enjoy the reading experience.


Review of The 39 Clues book 4: Beyond the Grave (Book #95 for 2009), published today in Manila Bulletin, Students & Campuses section

My copy: hardcover

My rating: 4/5 stars

4 thoughts on “The 39 Clues adventure continues with 4th book”

  1. nice, ive been really curious about this series recently and was debating whether to buy a copy or not. First book starts off with Riordan so sounds pretty interesting. hahah I am reminded of the Where in the World is carmen sandiego when I was young :)

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