Thursday, 25 June 2009

Marissa Moss - The Pharaoh's Secret - Book Review


Mr Ripley's Review

I liked the look of this book just from its cover appeal and so read it with great interest. I really love the Egyptian theme in books, the strong history and heritage that the Egyptians had. This book uses factual information as its main basis and then adds a little bit of fiction to enhance. This well thought-out story transports the reader back in time to the Land of the Pharaoh's, the great rulers of their time. The story is about finding one's true-self, through a child's eye, whilst living with the difficulties of loosing a parent (at an early age) and discovering the history of the family.
Talibah and Adom go on an ordinary holiday vacation to Egypt, when things start to go strange. Talibah starts to hear cryptic voices that whisper strange things.The brown swirls of life are depicted in every single page read. The pages flow like the River Nile and before you know it the story has ended.
The adventure takes on many twists and turns, with many aspects to keep you thinking. The nicely captured, inter-spaced drawings help with the on-going depiction of the story.
The books inspiration has been drawn from two significant aspects in Marisa Marr's life. A family trip to Egypt with her three children and the very tragic personal issue of her family dealing with the loss of a loved one. This gives the story a personal emotional focus which subtly deals with bereavement. It is heart-warming to see the story being tied up as a happy ending.
I will give this gem of a read four out of five, as I would have liked greater battle scenes with more blood and gore. Only kidding!!!!
I will be very interested to see what Marissa writes next, as she seems to have a diverse approach to writing.


Published by Amulet Books 1 October 2009 (Ages 9-12)

Synopsis

Filled with intrigue and surprises, The Pharaoh’s Secret includes Marissa Moss’s original illustrations throughout. The novel skillfully weaves history with a personal story full of heartache and family tensions that will entice and enthrall readers.

When Talibah and her younger brother, Adom, accompany their father, an academic, to his homeland of modern Egypt on his research assignment, they become involved in a mystery surrounding an ancient, lost pharaoh—a rare queen ruler. Someone has tried to wipe her from the record, to make it appear as if she never existed! She needs Talibah to help her and her high priest, Senenmut, reclaim their rightful place in history. Exotic locales, mysterious strangers, and a sinister archaeologist round out an adventure that is full of riddles, old tales, and, most surprisingly of all, a link to Talibah’s and Adom’s mother, who died mysteriously.

About the author

Marissa Moss is the author and illustrator of over 20 books for children, including the popular Amelia's Notebook series. She lives in Berkeley, California with her three children. For Marissa's latest title, Max's Logbook, she took inspiration from her son Elias. Elias had been urging his mother to write a book of experiments and inventions. He even helped his mother with the different experiments and inventions in the book by sharing his scientific logbooks from the many classes he took at the local science museum. Marissa also wanted to create a toy-like invention she could use in the comic strips she created for the book. Once again she turned to Elias for inspiration. Marissa had noticed Elias playing with a coffee can full of army and alien erasers. And thus, the Alien Eraser was born, the ultimate Max invention.
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