Gordon Korman wrote his first book in 7th grade Language Arts class. In the 30 years since then, he has written more than 60 books, including One False Note, book 2 in The 39 Clues series. In our exclusive video, Korman describes The 39 Clues, gives some insight into his writing process, and tells how he built on Rick Riordan’s original 39 Clues story to create a new story of his own.
Now it’s your turn. Read Gordon Korman’s book One False Note, and let it be a springboard for your imagination. Respond to the writing prompts to create your own adventure story based on The 39 Clues!
The second 39 Clues book has Dan and Amy traveling to Vienna to investigate Mozart. What do you think happens next? Write your predictions.
The 39 Clues series is full of twists and turns that send the plot in totally new directions. Choose an event or a decision the character made, and think, "What if they didn't do that? What would have happened?" For example, what if Amy and Dan had not discovered the secret library in Grace's mansion? What if Nellie had not agreed to go to Europe? What if. . . ? Write your story of what would have happened instead.
The first 39 Clues book is about Benjamin Franklin. The second is about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Choose a new historical figure and write your own mystery story. Do some research into the person and use these Mystery Writing Tips to create an interesting 39 Clues-style mystery around them.
Different authors will write the 39 Clues series. Try writing your own cooperative story. Choose a main conflict for your story and write a strong beginning. Then share your story with another student so she or he can write the continuation. Keep exchanging writing until the story is complete.
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Use the activities and lessons below to do an in-depth author study with your students.