My Two Cents: There is so much action and adventure here it's hard to know where to begin! The setup of this book was great--we grow and learn with Max in a way that doesn't feel forced at all. And the plot is so fast-paced and engaging that kids gobble up the (subtle and well-placed) educational parts as well. In keeping with Mayan culture, there issue of human sacrifice definitely comes up, but of course no humans are sacrificed in our storyline. Note to educators: I've heard that these authors do amazing school visits...
Grade Level: 4-8
- The Jaguar Stones website, with really outstanding teacher resources that include writing Maya glyphs, Maya math, and a FREE LESSON PLAN CD
- A great Mayan Kids site that explores the people, places, and beliefs of Mayan civilization
- Howler monkey photos, facts, and videos
- The Rainforest Alliance has great games, virtual storybooks, and plant and animal info for kids as well as lesson plans for teachers designed for every grade level.
More to Read:
- The beginning of another worldwide adventure series for the same age group: The 39 Clues: The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan
- A series for slightly younger readers about another fun and adventurous boy with the fate of a whole civilization on his shoulders: Elliot and the Goblin War by Jennifer Nielsen
- A slightly more sci-fi take on the theme of a boy who solves his family issues, saves a society, and learns a lot about himself in the process: What Came from the Stars by Gary D. Schmidt