The interactive 39 Clues series has been a huge hit with bright young readers, combining adventure, history, and danger all in one page-turning series. With today’s publication of Day of Doom, we asked author David Baldacci—known for his adult bestsellers—what attracted him to this fantastic kids' series.


I am thrilled to have written Day of Doom, the final book in The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers series for kids. Jumping on board the “39 Clues” Express was an easy decision. Millions of kids around the world have read and loved the books, and this was a terrific opportunity to stretch my creative wings and write for that audience. Kids today are very sophisticated; I enjoyed the challenge of writing to keep them engaged and spellbound. And working with Scholastic, which has showered the young reading world with terrific books, was definitely a plus.


The story also allowed me to showcase my interest in history. Setting part of the novel in history-filled Washington, D.C., and building into the plot one of America’s most prestigious museums, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, where one can explore the country’s past, was an added bonus.


As the great writer William Faulkner once wrote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” In those few words, Faulkner made a startling, and in my mind correct, claim: that we are all connected somehow, no matter the time period. Our present day foreshadows to a great degree what will come next.  So studying history is like getting the answer to an exam before you even take it, except that you aren’t cheating!


I’m looking forward to today’s publication of Day of Doom and especially to the webcast, Decoding History: A Virtual Field Trip to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, that will take place today, too. In the webcast, viewers will be escorted on a fun and fast trip through the museum by yours truly. I can promise that whatever your age, you will learn things you didn’t know and laugh at some of the things you will see. And our behind-the-scenes tour will make you want to take your own trip to the Museum.


Kids who’ve read one book or 100 will enjoy Day of Doom.  Just remember: It’s not for the faint-hearted (he says, winking).