Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Book Review for The Secret of the Sacred Scarab by Fiona Ingram

The Secret of the Sacred Scarab: The Chronicles of the Stone - Book One


Written by: FIONA INGRAM

Publisher: IUNIVERSE
ISBN Number: 9780595457168 (soft cover)

Genre: Juvenile Fiction - middle grade adventure

Fiona Ingram’s earliest story-telling talents came to the fore when, from the age of ten, she entertained her three younger brothers and their friends with serialized tales of children undertaking dangerous and exciting exploits, which they survived through courage and ingenuity. Haunted houses, vampires, and skeletons leaping out of coffins were hot favorites in the cast of characters. Although Fiona Ingram has been a journalist for the last fifteen years, writing a children’s bookThe Secret of the Sacred Scarab—was an unexpected step, inspired by a recent trip to Egypt. The tale of the sacred scarab began life as a little anecdotal tale for her 2 nephews (then 10 and 12), who had accompanied her on the Egyptian trip. This short story grew into a children’s book, the first in the adventure series Chronicles of the Stone. The author has finished the next book in the series—The Search for the Stone of Excalibur—a huge treat for young King Arthur fans. Although Fiona Ingram does not have children of her own, she has an adopted teenage foster child, from an underprivileged background who is just discovering the joys of reading for pleasure. Naturally, Fiona is a voracious reader and has been from early childhood. Her interests include literature, art, theatre, collecting antiques, animals, music, and films. She loves travel and has been fortunate to have lived in Europe (while studying) and America (for work). She has travelled widely and fulfilled many of her travel goals.

Adam and Justin are cousins who are invited on an adventure to Egypt by their Aunt Isabel. Isabel is a journalist who travels around the world researching incredible stories. Adam becomes more enthralled with the trip when Isabel shares with them a story about a Scottish Archeologist named James Kinnaird and his controversial theories. He believed that a Scarab King lived loing ago and that his treasure still existed with him in his tomb. But where was his tomb? Adam was determined to find out and discover his treasure.

When the group goes to Egypt they visit some amazing places like Memphis and the ancient Step Pyramid of Saqqara, but interesting things begin to happen when Adam and Justin begin to ask the natives about the Scarab King, who most believe is just a legend. A strange peddler gives Adam three scarabs that were made for tourists out of a bluish stone with hieroglyphyphics on them. Not thinking much about them, he stows them away, but in doing so finds another scarab that the peddler slipped into his pocket. This scarab was quite unique and different from the others. It was black in color. Could this hold the secret to the Scarab King?

Adam and Justin aren't sure but as soon as they receive the scarabs, strange things begin to happen. James Kinnaird is presumed missing and most likely dead. They meet a Dr. Khalid, who is in charge of breaking up the smuggling ring going on in Egypt. But he always seems to show up at just the wrong moments, especially when someone is trying to steal Adam's belongings. Adam and Justin are sure the man is up to something.

As they keep traveling and exploring different places, more and more strange things begin to happen leading them closer to the truth about the Scarab King. But will they find the treasure they seek and stop Dr. Khalid before he can implement his evil plans?

This story is a fun adventure right from the get go, teaching the reader about Egypt and about some of the famous places that are there and their histories. Children from 9-12 years of age will love this story. Fiona has a way of ensnaring the reader and sucking them in with her delightful writing style. Children who have watched the movies, The Mummy and The Scorpion King, will enjoy the similar historical information that this story provides. Egypt is an amazing and historical place, the thought of undiscovered treasure still existing would attract most everyone. The story also talks about the saving and perserving of such artifacts because many of them become smuggled out of the country for profit. This story would be a great addition to any child's library collection who loves Egyptian history.

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1 comment:

  1. Great Review and don't forget...if you leave a comment with your safe email (vsgrenier AT storiesforchildrenpublishing DOT com) you will be entered into the Book Giveaway. A winner will be chosen at the end of the month (Sept 2011).