, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 256-273
Date: 04 Jun 2011

New Literacies and Multimediacy: The Immersive Universe of The 39 Clues

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Abstract

The 39 Clues (2009) is a multimedia series produced by Scholastic for readers 7–14 years old that includes printed texts released periodically; trading cards also published periodically in print and virtually; and a complex, intriguing, and entertaining website. To fully experience the multimedia series, the publishers expect that readers can read printed text, negotiate the website that blurs the boundaries between history and fiction, author, character, and reader, compete for prizes, and build online communities. The more able a reader is to use multiple media sources for her own purposes, the more likely she is to reach the end goal of solving the central mystery of the series and win cash prizes. We found that The 39 Clues is a unique instantiation of new literacies (e.g. Knobel and Lankshear, A New Literacies Sampler, 2007) in action.