A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Danger Down the Nile is the sequel to Treasure Hunters by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein. Due to the gun content, we recommend this for kids age 9 to 12, rather than the publisher's recommendation of 8 to 12. Even though the tone is lighthearted and hard to take seriously, the young siblings are in constant peril: Their treasure-hunting rival has "heavily armed thugs" working for him, their hotel room is ransacked and another spy shoots open the door to the room in which they're meeting a friend, and they're chased by pirates with AK-47s. They also are attacked by sharks, a hippo, and warthogs; Bick almost loses a foot to trench foot; and he recalls a historical hanging. Adults are drawn drinking champagne, and the kids' nemesis, Collier, is shown smoking a cigar. But this book has sweet messages: These siblings don't always get along, but they're always loyal to one another. Even bickering twins Bick and Beck always make up quickly, and there's a message about their parents being the "real treasures" they're looking for. Juliana Neufeld's comic book-style illustrations and a plot full of peril will keep even reluctant readers turning the pages.
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What's the story?
DANGER DOWN THE NILE is the second book in a fast-paced series about siblings in a treasure-hunting family searching for their parents; their mother has been kidnapped, and their father was lost after a storm and may have drowned. Narrated by the younger son, Bick (and illustrated by his twin sister, Beck), the story follows the siblings as they face fierce foes -- including treasure-hunting rival Nathan Collier and angry warthogs -- as they race from New York to Egypt and more, trying to rescue their mom and figure out whether their dad is still alive.
Is it any good?
Like the first book, Danger Down the Nile is long at nearly 500 pages, but the illustrations -- and constant adventure -- make it a fun read that's hard to put down, even for reluctant readers. Fans of Treasure Hunters will find much of the same here, including fiercely loyal siblings who use their talents -- including Storm's brain, Tommy and the twins' diving skills, and more -- to get out of tight spots and find "the real treasures": their missing parents.
With so much going on all the time, the plot is a little hard to follow, but with coded messages, shark attacks, and more, readers will be too caught up in the action to care. Along the way, tweens will learn some cool trivia, including that "sounder" is the collective noun for warthogs and that Chinese explorers initially believed a giraffe skeleton was actually a unicorn.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about graphic novels, or novels full of illustrations, such as this one. What is appealing about these kinds of stories?
James Patterson is a popular author of several series, such as the Maximum Ride books. What is it about his writing style that makes his books bestsellers?
Why is treasure hunting a popular theme in literature? What other books have you read that involve pirates or other kinds of treasure hunters?
- Authors: James Patterson, Chris Grabenstein
- Illustrator: Juliana Neufeld
- Genre: Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Brothers and Sisters
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
- Publication date: September 1, 2014
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 480
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.