Over the past few months, I've had the pleasure of working with author Fiona Ingram as she promotes the second book in her Chronicles of the Stone series, The Search for the Stone of Excalibur, through WOW! Blog Tours. Check back here on Thursday for my review of this book.
Of course, once I learned about the series, I wanted to read the first book, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab. It was such a fun read I'm excited to be able to introduce the series to my kids next.
About the book:A 5000-year-old mystery comes to life when a scruffy peddler gives Adam and Justin Sinclair an old Egyptian scarab on their very first day in Egypt. Only when the evil Dr. Faisal Khalid shows a particular interest in the cousins and their scarab, do the boys realise they are in terrible danger. Dr. Khalid wants the relic at all costs. Justin and Adam embark upon the adventure of a lifetime, taking them down the Nile and across the harsh desert in their search for the legendary tomb of the Scarab King, an ancient Egyptian ruler. They are plunged into a whirlpool of hazardous and mysterious events when Dr. Khalid kidnaps them. They learn more about the ancient Seven Stones of Power and the mysterious Shemsu-Hor. They must translate the hieroglyphic clues on the underside of the scarab, as well as rescue the missing archaeologist James Kinnaird, and their friend, the Egyptologist Ebrahim Faza, before time runs out!
About Fiona Ingram:
Fiona Ingram was born and educated in South Africa, and has worked as a full-time journalist and editor. Her interest in ancient history, mystery, and legends, and her enjoyment of travel resulted in The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, the first in her exciting children’s adventure series—The Chronicles of the Stone. This was inspired by a family trip the author took with her mom and two young nephews aged ten and twelve at the time. The book began as a short story for her nephews and grew from there. The Search for the Stone of Excalibur is a treat for young King Arthur fans. Fiona is busy with Book 3 entitled The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper, set in Mexico.
While writing The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, Fiona fostered (and later adopted) a young African child from a disadvantaged background. Her daughter became the inspiration for the little heroine, Kim, in The Search for the Stone of Excalibur. Interestingly, the fictional character’s background and social problems are reflected in the book as Kim learns to deal with life. Fiona’s experiences in teaching her daughter to read and to enjoy books also inspired many of her articles on child literacy and getting kids to love reading.
5 Reasons You Should Read The Secret of the Sacred Scarab with Your Kids
1. You will learn about ancient history in a way that is engaging and not stuffy. When I began this book my knowledge of Ancient Egypt was pretty limited, but I feel like I learned a great deal from the way the details are subtly layered throughout the story. It would make a great companion book for children to read in school while studying this period of history.
2. The adult characters are fun and colorful. From the stern, yet savvy, Aunt Isabel to the spunky and heroic Gran, Ingram takes great care in creating characters that are humorous, courageous, and charming, even in their flaws (such as in the case of the villain's two henchmen, Ismal and Aziz).
3. You will embark on an adventure without having to leave the comfort of your reading chair. The descriptive details in this book did not disappoint. I felt like I personally was cruising down the Nile in a cruise ship, braving a sandstorm with the heroes, Justin and Adam, and discovering a mysterious treasure hidden away in the depths of a darkened cavern, among other adventures!
4. You will laugh out loud more than once. To keep the mood light when necessary, the author blends humorous anecdotes and conversations throughout, such as in the chapter titled "The Fake Belly Dancer." I won't give anything else away there, but it features another example of one of the adult characters pleasantly surprising Justin and Adam.
5. The fast-moving plot will keep you turning the pages. As you can imagine, the curious nature of both the main characters, Justin and Adam, gets them in plenty of predicaments throughout this book. You will find yourself alternating between scolding them and rooting for them by the time you get to the exciting conclusion of The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, I promise.