That’s because Aaron won second place in a clue-collecting contest based on the popular book series 39 Clues, which follows a pair of siblings around the world in search of clues left behind by their recently-deceased grandmother.
When he heard the news initially, Fernando didn’t believe he was one of 66 winners that beat out over 560,000 other participants who registered to find clues via the books, trading cards, and interactive online games.
“I was like, ‘Mom are you serious? Are you kidding?’ I thought she was kidding around!” said Aaron, who has collected 10 of the 39 clues that will ultimately be revealed by the end of the series.
He is contemplating uses for his prize money of $750, a hefty sum for an eight-year old, but he has generously set aside $50 for a charity of his own accord.
Aaron’s mom, Meena Narraph, approves of the book series because she believes it instills a sense of cultural awareness in children. She has even started reading the books.
“Lately, everything has been 39 Clues that he’s learned all this information from, and I think it’s great for the kids, especially the history part of it, that they go into different countries and they’re learning about different places,” said Narraph.
Aaron admitted he was only mildly interested in history before, but ever since he picked up 39 Clues, he can’t get enough of learning about the past. His parents even took him to the Smithsonian Museum so he could see in person the Hope Diamond he had read so much about.
He acknowledged that it was wonderful being rewarded for doing something he loves, but he said he would continue reading the books even if there were no incentives other than sheer enjoyment.
“I love it. It’s like the best book series in the world,” said Aaron. “I can’t wait to see what happens next!”