Monday, May 25, 2009
Fiona Ingram Writes Adventure for Kids of All Ages
Fiona Ingram, born and educated in South Africa, is a full-time journalist and editor. Her interest in ancient history, mystery, and legends, and her enjoyment of travel has resulted in The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, the first in her exciting children's adventure series--Chronicles of the Stone.
The Secret of the Sacred Scarab
Author: Fiona Ingram
ISBN: Paperback 978-0-595-45716-8/Cloth 978-0-595-71977-8/
Publisher: iUniverse in 2008
Reviewed by: Barbara Milbourn for Writers in the Sky
Author Fiona Ingram understands that young readers have no patience for long, drawn-out prologues. At the first sentence—a one-word exclamation—of The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, she jettisons readers off on an adventure to a far-away land with two young cousins.
Justin and Adam are leaving the comforts of home and the family dog for a one-week adventure in Egypt with ace writer/researcher Aunt Isabel and their loveable and zany Gran. In exchange for missing school, their assignment is to keep a daily record of things they’ve seen and learned along the way. It so happens that their aunt’s current project and the boys’ recent history lessons coincide and set the reader on firm footing before they even lift off.
Aunt Isabel has guaranteed their maximum travel experience and personal safety by booking them on a tour with a host of entertaining fellow sojourners and a tour-guide who is suspected of knowing far more than she shares with the group. Safety vanishes early in the hot, still air of a marketplace when the boys are encountered by a ragged peddler who bestows upon them four scarabs; one of which is particularly ancient and coveted.
The story flies forward from there as the boys put together fortuitous pieces of a puzzle in quest of a legendary tomb of an ancient Egyptian ruler and a missing archeologist. Ingram writes the landscape and the legend vividly and keeps the boys barely one step ahead of death and dismemberment at the hands of men in black, the fangs of a giant cobra, and all manner of danger that lurks in caves, shifting sands, and things hidden in deep, dark places.
The Secret of the Sacred Scarab is entertainment for readers up to around age fourteen and for those who wish they were fourteen again. It is at once adventure and history, art and architecture, humor and redemption, travel writing and social studies, and great fun. Fiona Ingram presents this as her first of seven in a series titled Chronicles of the Stone.