March 29, 2009

Peter Lerangis 39 Clues Exclusive!

Posted by at 7:39 am in Authors, The 39 Clues | Permalink

130An update from author Peter Lerangis:

Hey, Splotters!

Well, I’m home for a few days before heading off to the Windy City (Chicago). I’m pretty winded myself, but in a good way. A GREAT way, actually. It’s been amazing to see the numbers of readers hooked on Amy and Dan’s search for The 39 Clues. I visited a LOT of school groups on the West Coast, and wherever I went, I met students and teachers who were fun and enthusiastic and full of good, sharp questions.

But nothing quite prepared me for Mr. Bentz, Ms. Campbell and the Skyline School in Solana Beach, CA.

This visit was scheduled last on the West Coast leg of The 39 Clues Double-Dealing Tour. Their energy and passion for The 39 Clues was impressive. Mr. Bentz had even integrated the books into the school’s curriculum. Well, we suspected they’d planned something for my visit last Friday morning, because when we called to say we were on our way, Mr. Bentz asked us to delay a bit while they “prepared.” Uh-oh.

All three of us — Larry (our author “escort”), Charisse (the superhuman Scholastic publicist), and me — heard the noise as we approached. A lot of noise. We could see kids pouring out the door. The parking lot had been emptied and marked out with traffic cones — boundaries for the kids, a sweeping “approach lane” for our car. Soon hundreds of students, K-6, thronged right up to the cones, chattering with anticipation. Behind them, my name was plastered all over the school! The last time that happened was in the 1960s when Lumpy Kartunis scrawled some nasty graffiti about me on the Bayview Avenue School wall. But this was the opposite — a big WELCOME PETER LERANGIS!

SkylineSchool 002
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SkylineSchool 004

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When we finally came into view . . . pandemonium. A deafening roar. Kids shrieked, leaped, waved wildly, brandished posters. Uh . . . wait. Did they think the Jonas Brothers were in the car? No! The kids were in costume — Dan and Amy Cahill, Nellie Gomez, the Man in Black, Jonah Wizard, Jonah’s Blackberry-toting dad, even Saladin. Two kids had dyed their hair red and were dressed as . . . red snappers (Saladin’s favorite snack)! As Larry slowly drove through our “lane,” I waved to the kids and Charisse recorded video. Then my cell phone rang — my college-student son, from Ohio, with an urgent car question. As I shouted advice about oil changes over the din, Charisse looked at me in utter bewilderment.

Then Larry pulled to a stop . . . and we were mobbed. So I did the only thing a self-respecting writer could do. I jumped out and gave everyone high-fives. (Traffic cones? Forget it!)

Car_Entrance     Hi-fives     Peter high-fives

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Well, we spent the whole day at Skyline — talking about The Sword Thief, investigating theories about The 39 Clues, admiring costumes and awesome art projects, participating in a bicoastal Q&A with editors Rachel and Mallory via live video feed into a classroom. We ate lunch with the winners of a trivia contest, one of whom had created Cahill-branch pins for all students and a special 39 Clues pin for me! We drank from “For Cahills Only” water bottles, and afterward I signed hundreds of books and got to meet every student personally. I saw the way Mr. Bentz and the entire school staff and teachers had brought learning to life with the adventures of Dan and Amy, and how The 39 Clues had helped make art, problem-solving, creative writing, and history cool.

Peter with signs on floor
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SkylineSchool 037      Skyline Assembly

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It was one of the most exhilarating days of my life. Charisse and I have had to email each other just to confirm that it wasn’t a dream! Thank you, Skyline. And may the Clues be with you!

Cheers from New York.

Peter Lerangis

  1. Maya

    Do you know what the code in One False Note means? I can’t Figure it out!(That’s saying something, I’m a Lucian and I’m usually pretty good with codes.)Are you supposed to add the vowels or something? It’s so hard!
    Maya

  2. Peter

    Hello to all parents, teachers, and kids — Maya, Crystal, Cassie, MB, Holly, Mason, Michele, Tina, Lindsey, Jack, Lucas, William, Julie, Claire, Sean, Sophie, Sam, Alexi — all you wonderful Skyline people who wrote in! Thank you for taking the time to tell me YOUR stories about the visit. I so enjoy reading them, and so do Whitney, Charisse, Rachel, Mallory, and everyone involved with this blog, the tour, and the 39 CLUES in general! (Well, maybe not Ian K. I got a text message from him saying he’s sure that HE would have gotten a much better response! OK, we’ll let him have his fantasy…)
    Maya, you bet I liked those badges. ALL of them are lined up in a prominent place on my wall, with the special 39 Clues logo badge in the center! And they surround the AMAZING framed work of art that I received from one of your incredibly talented classmates, and the numerous other gifts and photo mementoes of that day — thanks to all you artists, the work was just beautiful. I will tell Charisse to expect a Lucian badge, and I know she will be thrilled. To answer your questions, I have not yet read the Twilight series, but I look forward to it. I am a huge fan of the Percy Jackson series, though — those books are awesome, and they are written by one of my personal favorite writers!
    Hope I get to see you all again some time. Regards to everyone!

  3. Elyse

    That day was so fun! One of my best friends, Alexandra, and I won the trivia contests and went to the lunch! We dressed up as the Holt twins. You recommended “Smiler’s Bones” to me at the lunch, and I am reading it and loving it! Thank you so much!!!

  4. Hannah (Nellie)

    Hi Mr. Lerangis!
    My mom was right, the day you came, was the BEST day, by FAR, in the whole school year! Thank you so much for coming! You are so inspiring to me and so I wanted to thank you for coming. I learned 10 x’s MORE about The 39 Clues just from your visit! Thank you Cherice, also for your extremely nice comment to me in line of the book signing, I really appreciated that. Thank You AGAIN! You Rock!!
    -Hannah

  5. Alexi

    Gosh, this day was awesome!! I had so much fun learning more about the 39 clues. It was very cool that we got to meet a famous writer!

  6. Maya

    Peter Lerangis U ARE THE BEST WRITER IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD!!!!! Your books are amazing! I can’t wait until the 7th book of the 39 clues series comes out! Have you read the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan? They are Super good! Have you also read the Twiligh series? It was my favorite book until yours came out. Thank you again for putting me in your article. I was the girl who made you the badges! Tell Charisse that I am working on a Lucian badge for her. YOU ARE THE BEST WRITER!!!!!!!!!!
    -Maya

  7. Maya

    Peter Lerangis your coming to my school was the BEST THING EVER! I was the girl who made you the badges, remember? Thank you SO MUCH for putting me in your article! I hope you like you badges! P.S. tell your publisher, Charisse, that I am making her a Lucian Badge. THANK YOU SO MUCH! YOU ARE THE BEST WRITER!
    -Maya

  8. Peter

    Hi, everybody and thanks for the nice words! Cassie, I live in New York City and I’m old enough to know better, and I got the idea for the SWORD THIEF from the mystery of Hideyoshi’s strange sword hunt — why on earth did it happen? Very much a Cahill kind of event, don’t you think? And yes, I did read the first two books very carefully (which actually was a great joy, as they were written by two of MY favorite writers!). And as for the shapes, all I can say is look very carefully all throughout the book, and you will very likely discover the secret….
    Peter

  9. Mason

    I did not right that where it says that other thing posted by mason hmmmmm is there another mason at my school

  10. Sophie

    Peter,Charise,and the driver,
    Thank you so much for coming to our school it was something i’ll always remember. It was a really exciting day and full of so many activities.
    I was the one dressed up as Jonah Wizard and my friend Aryana was dressed up as Mr.Wizard. Thank you!

  11. Sean

    Thank you soooooooooooooo! much for coming to our school to have such a great honor. I especially want to thank you for the exclusive question and answer session. I really loved it when we got our books signed individually and got our picture taken with you. That was a day I will never forget and I can’t wait for the next 39 Clues book that YOU publish! Thank you sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. CLAIRE (or nellie)

    Peter, thank you SOOO much for coming to our school…. i had SOO much fun, and laughs that day! we had an AH – MAZING time and i will never forget that day!!

  13. William & Julie

    My son was so excited that morning – he didn’t know whether to dress as William MacIntire or Allister Oh….super cool stuff! Keep writing!

  14. Lucas

    That was an amazing visit Mr. Lerangis. Thanks for putting me up in your paragraph as the red snapper. The other one was Ted!

  15. Lindsey

    My daughter Brynn said it was the most important day her school has ever had (that says a lot since her father went to school there 30 years ago). Thank you Peter and Charisse for taking the time to visit your most devoted fans. It will be etched into their little minds forever!

  16. Tina

    Thank you for inspiring the kids and their imaginations! They can’t stop talking about the book and your visit. Even overheard one of them saying….”He is as famous as Britney Spears!” Keep them reading!

  17. michele

    The kids, teachers, staff and parents loved the visit from peter Lerangis. His visit made his book come alive once again. Thank you

  18. Mason

    Thank you sooo much for visiting our school. I will never forget that awesome day!!! You rock!

  19. Holly

    Peter,
    I am glad the day was as special for you as it was for my daughter Hannah (dressed as Nellie). When I picked her up from school she proclaimed it was the best day at school ever! Keep on writing!

  20. mb

    It sounds like those kids are the luckiest Cahills in the world, especially to have the team at Scholastic on their side! Thanks to Charisse and Mr. Lerangis, they already feel like they are the “richest, most important people in history.” We miss you already!!

  21. luv2swish/Cassie

    I luv the 39 clues series and i cant wait for the 4th book to come out.These are some questions for Peter Lerangis,Where do you live? Howold are you? and How did you get the idea to write The Sword Theif,did you read the 1st 2 books to get an idea or what,I really want to know…I have one more(I forgot about this one),In the middle of The Sword Thief,where it has the shapes,WHAT IS IT SUPPOSED TO MEAN!?!?!?I noticed it in the other to books too!I really want to know!
    Your #1 fan Cassie N.

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