For Readers Age 9 - 12
Grades 4th - 8th
39 Clues Book 7: The Viper's Nest - Suggested Activities
The 39 Clues Reviews Page
In Book 7, Amy and Dan cross two very
different continents: Indonesia and South Africa! If you
have started to map their adventures from the earlier
book, add these locations to your list:
Important places and things:
See what you can find out about Jakarta, the capital
of Indonesia, and the oceans surrounding Indonesia
including Java Sea.
South Africa - Check out this
South Africa country profile including map
there, see if you can locate the following:
Tambo International Airport
Cities like Madagascar, Pretoria,
Johannesburg, Witbank (now Emalahleni), and Durban,
where the story tells us Shaka was buried.
Notable civic services like the
state library, government archives, University of
South Africa, National Cultural History Museum, and
Hillbrow Tower. Is it really one of South Africa’s
Then check out areas of terrain and
natural features such as Constitution Hill
Swaziland, Banhine National Park in Mozambique. Are
there any other areas on the map that you recognize?
people and culture:
You can find South African history at
which includes classroom materials and an online
library! Their culture and society page provides
information on many of the
people, issues and museums talked about in this book.
See if you can find more about these historical facts
mentioned in the book:
Transvaal region controlled by Dutch
Boer (farmer) war
History of 17th century Dutch,
German and French Huguenot farmers, Afrikaners
History of gold diamond mining
Shaka, Zulu leader
Henry Francis Fynn...did he really
save Shaku’s life?
Apartheid was an important part of South
Africa’s history, ending in 1994. Our story talks about
Bantustans—areas for colored African natives to live
during apartheid. It mentions the Soweto student
uprising in the 70’s, and Nelson Mandela. Racism was
also part of America’s history, particularly in the
1950’s and 1960’s. Research this time period in both
countries and compare.
Was Winston Churchill really a reporter or journalist
before becoming prime minister, and was he jailed in
South Africa? Well, find out!
The properties of the aloe plant is important in this
story. Some Zulu terms are used when speaking of this
plant include Isipho (gift) and umhlaba (earth, land).
other words in the Zulu language and see if you can
Music & Arts:
Music is so important in this story that it needs its
Conduct a search similar to Amy’s in the
Java library on glees, shanties, fight songs, Madrigals
and motets...what are the differences between these
various types of music? And the sheet music Marching to
Pretoria, what type of song is it?
Check out the play “A Lesson from Aloes” by Athol Fugard
available on Google:
Is there really a
Harvard Glee Club? Yes! Perhaps you are near their
concert tour and can attend!
The Krakratau rakata (Volcano) erupted in 1883, which
the book states as one of the worst natural disasters in
history; compare this to the tsunami in 2004. What is
the difference between a rakata and a tsunami?
Our characters use nautical terminology like ‘hard to
port and starboard. What do these mean? Check out these
and other interesting words at
(while there, look at their cool shipwrecks too!) Then
invent your own glossary of terms for riding your bike
or in the car! What would be the starboard? Who is the
Amy and Dan spend a lot of time on planes. What are the
differences between a prop plane and a 767 jetliner?
Amy and Dan find that the aloe is highly regarded by the
Look into it further. Then grow one yourself and be
a healer in your family! Can’t find one at your local
Target or garden shop?
Perhaps Africa is best known for its wildlife such as
hyenas, lions, elephants and the like. But it also has
less known creatures such as its creepy crawlies.
National Geographic has great pictures of these
and, while you are there, check out their games and
If learning nautical language or Zulu doesn’t catch your
fancy, then try Morse code! Decipher the code from
Hamilton Holt found on pages 61-62 in our book.
Discuss how to build positive relationships and dealing
with conflict constructively, as Amy and Dan do pages
(For more suggested reading,
visit our bookstore.)