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Jake Ransom and the Skull King's Shadow by James Rollins
When a mysterious envelope arrives for Jake Ransom, he and his older sister, Kady, are plunged into a gripping chain of events. An artifact found by their parents-on the expedition from which they never returned-leads Jake and Kady to a strange world inhabited by a peculiar mix of long-lost civilizations, a world that may hold the key to their parents' disappearance.

But even as they enter the gate to this extraordinary place, savage grackyls soar across the sky, diving to attack. Jake's new friends, the pretty Mayan girl Marika and the Roman Pindor, say the grackyls were created by an evil alchemist-the Skull King. And as Jake struggles to find a way home, it becomes obvious that what the Skull King wants most is Jake and Kady-dead or alive.

Introduce the book by watching this digital book talk:
Author Book Talk Trailer- view this book trailer of author James Rollins introducing Jake Ransom and sharing his insights into the making of the book and the inspiration behind it.

Meet the Author-James Rolllins
View this video









kukulkan.gifVisit the official Jake Ransom and the Skull King's Shadow website

Visit the Publisher's website-Harper Collins for additional information:

Author BIO Find out more about author James Rollins

Author's message about Jake Ransom

Read this **interview with author**, James Rollins



Mayan Math
Mayan Math-A very long time ago, around 1500 B.C., in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, the Maya lived and they left behind many mysteries. One very interesting thing was the way they wrote their numbers.

For the concept of "zero", the Mayans used a shell

For "one" they used a dot .

For "five" they used a line _

Using only the shell, the dot, and the line, the Mayans were able to write all of the counting numbers.
The picture below illustrates this:



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Click to go to Mayan Math


image credit: Mayan Kids


Using only Mayan numbers write your answers to these problems:

Draw the Mayan number 8


Draw the Mayan number 13

Draw the Mayan number 15

Now solve these problems:


3 +1 =

5 + 4 =


12 + 4 =


14 + 5 =

Now try multiplying:


2 X 4 =

3 X 3 =

Now stretch your thinking a little.

How do you think you would draw the number 20?

Draw the number 24?



Visit Mayan Kids to learn more interesting facts and find some fun games.




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Jake Ransom Fun & Games
In the temple of Kukulkan, Jake discovers a cryptic language written along the walks. He’s certain that the ancient text, once translated, will reveal important clues to his parent’s disappearance. Investigate this website to unlock clues and decipher codes, explore the world of Calypsos, and more….