Scholastic today announced that it plans to offer a free, behind-the-scenes video tour of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, featuring author David Baldacci as a guide. The “Decoding History” virtual field trip, to air on March 5 at 1:00 PM ET/10:00 AM PT, coincides with the release of Baldacci’s new book for young readers, “The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers: Day of Doom,” the latest title in the bestselling Scholastic series.
During the webcast—which will be globally accessible—Baldacci will present some of the most fascinating artifacts in the Smithsonian’s national collections, including the Lewis and Clark compass (which is featured in Baldacci’s 39 Clues book), Abraham Lincoln’s pocket watch, and the original Star-Spangled Banner, the flag that inspired Frances Scott Key to compose our national anthem. Viewers will also “meet” renowned museum curators and explore some of the most mysterious moments in American history.
“I’m thrilled to be part of the joint program between the powerhouse combination of Scholastic and the Smithsonian,” Baldacci says in the announcement. “History and books, what could be better? Each entertains and educates. And The 39 Clues series and the Smithsonian do both, splendidly.”
Day of Doom will be the sixth and final book in the multi-platform series of books, collectible cards, and an online game that debuted in September 2008 for ages 8-12.
Prolific and bestselling author David Baldacci‘s first book, Absolute Power, was published 1996; he has since written more than 25 novels, plus two titles for young readers in the Freddy and the French Fries series. He was inducted into the International Crime Writing Hall of Fame in 2011.
“Scholastic is honored to have author David Baldacci as part of our groundbreaking and innovative 39 Clues team and we couldn’t be more excited that he has agreed to lead our exclusive webcast,” says Ellie Berger, president, Scholastic Trade, in the announcement. “We are also thrilled to collaborate with the renowned institution, Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, on this unique and educational virtual tour that will reach countless classrooms and libraries around the globe and is a perfect way to merge history, mystery, and storytelling.”
According to the company, the webcast will help teachers meet the “Speaking & Listening” Common Core Standards for English and Language Arts. There are currently more than 15 million copies in print worldwide of the series and more than 2 million registered users for the online game.
A movie is currently in development with Dreamworks.