The 39 Clues books are still pretty popular around here. I read the first two books years ago so I know the basics of the series. The series is all about figuring out hints and tracking down the next clue. I knew we should incorporate that into the event. I settled on doing a library scavenger hunt. There’s not a lot online so I made up my own.
The series has 4 branches with each branch having their own specialty. [Ekaterina- Intelligence; Janus- Arts; Lucian- Leadership; Tomas- Athletics] This wiki is very handy if you need some assistance with the series. I knew I wanted to break down the kids into four teams for the four branches. I decided to make each branch their own scavenger hunt.
I promise making a scavenger hunt is not as scary as you might be imagining. I made up a pretty generic scavenger hunt to try to get the tweens all over the library and make them figure out where things are. [Adult fiction, non fiction, audiobooks, magazines, etc.] Once I had my basic hunt, I just tailored it for each branch. [Bring back a magazine that an Ekaterinan might be interested in. Bring back a biography of someone who might be in the Athletics/Tomas branch.] I wasn’t asking for a specific item. There could be any number of items the tweens could bring back and that was fine. [If all else failed and they couldn’t find something on the list, they were allowed to use the catalog and write down the title and author of something that would work.]
A few things to keep in mind: Shorter lists are better. We had 10 items on our lists and it took almost the entire hour for the tweens to track down everything. Set some very firm ground rules. The library is absolutely for the tweens as much as it is for adults but they do need to be respectful of everyone else there. There was no running or screaming allowed. Don’t bother anyone else. [If they had questions, they had to come to me or a volunteer for the program.] Additional supervision is very helpful. I had a volunteer come in to help my wrangle the tweens and a few parents hung out for the event. It worked out so there was basically an adult for every group of kids. The adults were there just for supervision. The tweens were still responsible for finding everything.
Verdict: I was pleased with how everything worked out. I think everyone had fun and the tweens did a fantastic job of finding everything on their list. [I know a few parents made happy comments about how their kids are now a bit more familiar with the catalog and the library.]