BREAKAWAY by Jeff Hirsch


From the "39 Clues: Unstoppable" series, volume 2
Age Range: 9 - 12
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The Cahill kids continue their clue quest to save the world.

Though still a teenager, Amy Cahill’s the leader of the rich and powerful Cahill family, so it falls to her and her younger brother, Dan, to decode the notebook of family founder Olivia Cahill. They need to find the ingredients to the antidote to the family’s special serum, which has fallen into the hands of evil media mogul J. Rutherford Pierce, thanks to Sammy Mourad, a distant Cahill cousin. Having secured the first ingredient (Nowhere to Run, 2013), the duo and a few friends and relatives jet off to find the second, a supposedly extinct grain called silphium. Pierce’s men (most of whom have taken the serum and now enjoy superhuman strength and intelligence) follow in hot pursuit, and Pierce’s media holdings spread lies about Amy and her cohorts. Can Amy and Dan get along, find the ingredients and keep their friends safe? Can they even survive? Hirsch picks up where Jude Watson’s first volume (of this new 39 Clues quartet) left off, with more improbable adventures and shallow characters. The series that has, in the past, been penned by some powerhouse authors wears a bit thin in this 19th book. Characters pop up with no introductions or backgrounding, and little time’s spent catching readers up on past events. Topping the online game and trading cards, look for a movie next year.

Only for series fans who haven’t moved on. (Mutiplatform fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-545-52142-0
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2013


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