Recent Reviews for Fiona Robyn Ingram
The Secret of the Sacred Scarab (Book) - 6/7/2009 6:05:10 AM|
STORIES FOR CHILDREN MAGAZINE
Book: The Secret of the Sacred Scarab
Author: Fiona Ingram
Illustrators: Lori Bentley (interior), Steven Felmore (cover)
Publisher: iUniverse (2008)
ISBN-13: 978-0-595-45716-8 (paperback)
ISBN-13: 978-0-595-71977-9 (cloth)
ISBN-13: 978-0-595-90017-6 (e-book)
Reading Level: Middle grades, ages 10-14
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by: Wayne Walker
How would you feel if you were on a trip to Egypt and strange things started happening? Thirteen-year-old Adam and his fourteen-year-old cousin Justin live in Durban, South Africa, and are invited by their Aunt Isabel, who is an investigative journalist, and their grandmother to join them for a tour of Egypt. However, after a shabby-looking street peddler hastily gives (not sells) Adam three scarabs and runs off, odd events begin to occur. A famous Scottish archaeologist named James Kinnaird, who is searching for the tomb of the ancient Scarab King which many think is just a myth anyway, disappears and is presumed dead. The sinister looking Dr. Faisal Khalid, head of the Egyptian department of antiquities and a researcher at the Egyptian Museum who dismisses Kinnaird's claims, takes an unusual interest in the boys. There are reports about an antiquities smuggling ring, and Adam and Justin see some suspicious activities going on in the basement of the Egyptian museum.
And it gets worse. Shadowy figures in black robes seem to be following them from place to place. Their tour guide Laila acts out of the ordinary, sometimes friendly and other times secretive. An elderly Egyptian named Ebrahim Faza saves Adam from falling at the Sphinx and appears to know more about what is going on than he tells. Adam has a weird encounter with a fortune teller at the bazaar in Esna. Their room aboard their Nile River cruise ship is broken into. Then there are Adam's wild dreams. Finally, the two are kidnapped and taken across the desert while their tour bus is hijacked on a trip to the Valley of the Kings. What will happen? Will they survive?
All I can say is, "Wow!" This is one of the most thrilling children's books that I have read in a long time. Author Fiona Ingram, who was born and educated in South Africa, has combined an exciting story that is filled with adventure and suspenseful mystery to keep the reader turning the pages with a lot of interesting factual information about the history and geography of Egypt. I especially like the way that Adam and Justin are portrayed as bright and wanting to learn. It is a pleasure to read about, as one of the characters in the book, Brigadier Brice-Gibbons, calls them, "two well-mannered young men who actually know there was a Second World War." The Secret of the Sacred Scarab is the first volume of Fiona's new "Chronicles of Stone" series and has been named a finalist in the Children's/Juvenile Fiction category of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. In my estimation, it certainly deserves the honor!
Related websites: http://www.secretofthesacredscarab.com (book), http://www.iuniverse.com (publisher)
The Secret of the Sacred Scarab (Book) - 12/23/2008 11:11:40 AM
Suspenseful but educational read. Best wishes, R