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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This book offers better than average characters and a decent, reasonably well plotted and well paced mystery/adventure, but where it truly excels is in its ancient Egyptian setting.

I suspect that most middle graders have had enough of the Victorian era, or at least would be intrigued by something different. There are some interesting medieval-ish swordplay stories out there, and some interesting work set in a Native American context, or the Civil War or Revolutionary Eras, but after that the historical, not to mention foreign, venues get pretty thin. (To digress, I'm a little unnerved that the World War II, fifties and even sixties eras I actually know are starting to drift into what kids today would consider historical.)

This book nails time and place. We have a pre-Christian time and fabulous and romantic New Kingdom Egypt. Scott Peters has written other works for kids that explore ancient Egypt, (and mummies!), and he has seamlessly drawn all of that scholarship into the sights, sounds, colors, and feel of his Zet mysteries. The history and description isn't ladled on or weighed down by tedious exposition but rather is introduced subtly and naturally in the context of the telling of the adventure story.

As a consequence we get two kids, a brother and sister team, who are relatable and appealing and yet clearly of their time and circumstance. This is all presented in broad brushstrokes, (I wouldn't use this book as a research authority), which keeps it interesting and entertaining even while it is informative in a general and impressionistic way. The fact that there is a mystery, a theft, a conspiracy, and loads of chases just keeps the excitement and interest level high all of the way through to the satisfying conclusion.

So, a very happy and rewarding find with a lot of middle grade reader appeal. A very nice book to recommend.

Please note that I found this book while browsing Amazon Kindle freebies. I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The Mystery of the Egyptian Scroll, by Scott Peters, is a children’s book set in New Kingdom Egypt, in and around the southern city of Luxor. The pharaoh of the time is deliberately unspecified.

The plot is lively and straightforward; two children who run a market stall selling pottery, witness a neighbour being accused of theft, and take it upon themselves to investigate. In the process they find out that the accusation is false, but that there is a much deeper and more sinister plot behind it. Basically, in adult terms, they have stumbled into the path of a political move aiming at a palace coup – a problem which did indeed face certain pharaohs of that time.

This is a children’s book, so the writing is simple and direct, the characters’ motives are plain and easy to grasp, and the children are supremely competent at solving the problem (albeit at considerable risk to themselves and their family).

But the book is also a fantastic introduction to Egypt for children. Places, people and customs are well explained and engaging, so the book is highly educative as well as fun. Problems are solved by thought, perseverance, q the gathering of evidence, and negotiation with key people. There is no magic, and religion is dealt with as a normal part of everyday life. I would happily use this book as a way to bring something of the reality of ancient Egypt to life for a young audience.

Technically the Kindle copy I downloaded had a number of problems, in particular with incorrect representation of some characters such as apostrophes. This made the book hard to read in places, especially for a younger audience. I understand that this problem is being addressed and should be fixed before long.

Overall a four star book for me – although I prefer adult fiction, I can easily see myself reading The Mystery of the Egyptian Scroll with young people wanting to learn about Egypt.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 March 2015
Although Scott's books are aimed at the young adult market, as a not-so-young adult, I still rather enjoyed this book.

It's a good romp through the streets of ancient Thebes, with our young protagonist and his sister caught up in trying to solve a plot taking place at the highest level.

Only complaint was that I might've liked it to go on for a little longer :-)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 16 October 2013
I really liked this book , i would put it for 3€ since its so good
I'm 10 yrs old - for 9-13 yrs old
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 July 2015
I was looking for a story based in Ancient Egypt to read to my class in the new school year and thus is the one! Fast pace, lots of cliffhangers to keep them interested, more books for them to move onto and a satisfactory ending. Great!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 May 2013
Well written with lots of atmosphere of ancient Egypt.The story itself is perhaps best read by younger people with an interest in ancient Egypt.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2013
A mystery story involving two young children. Set in ancient Egypt, the children stumble on a conspiracy against the Pharoah and decide to try and save him. The book I imagine is aimed at younger readers, and I didn't realise this until I started to read it, but I enjoyed it anyway.
It has likeable characters and a fast paced plot that younger readers will enjoy and ends with a link to the next story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 June 2015
I am a big fan of ancient Egypt. Quite enjoyed this adventure story. Easy to read.
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on 17 July 2015
this book was awesome, and a perfect mix of history and mystery. I really can't wait to read the next books in the series.
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on 20 November 2014
I like this because it is full of intrigue & adventure. I found it interesting & learnt more about their way of life.
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