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The Pharaoh's Secret Hardcover – October 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 810L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810983788
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810983786
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,832,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Fourteen-year-old Talibah and her younger brother, Adom, are accompanying their Egyptologist father on a trip to the country of their ancestors. But as soon as they arrive in Cairo, odd things start happening. Talibah is given a strange artifact and hears a voice imploring, “Find him.” And when they meet Rashid, their father’s friend and an archaeologist, Talibah has visceral feelings of fear and dislike. The plot is clunky—the children’s father allows Rashid to take the duo to the Valley of the Kings for several days, because otherwise how could all the scary things happen? Moreover, the time-travel elements are complicated. It is the female pharaoh Hatshepsut who’s trying to reach Talibah. Hatshepsut wants the soul of her steward and paramour to rest in peace, but forces in the past and present risk all to prevent that. Add in the connection of the children’s dead mother, and there’s a lot going on. But Talibah makes a good narrator, and readers who enjoy a mystery seen through the lens of time will find plenty of thrills. Grades 5-8. --Ilene Cooper

About the Author

Marissa Moss has written and illustrated many books for children, including the popular Amelia’s Notebook series. She lives in Berkeley, California. Visit her Web site at www.marissamoss.com.

More About the Author

Marissa Moss has been telling stories and drawing pictures to go with them for as long as she can remember. She sent her first book to publishers when she was nine, but it wasn't very good and it never got published. She didn't try again until she was a grown-up, but since then she hasn't stopped.

The idea for the first Amelia's Notebook came from the notebook Moss kept when she was a kid. Amelia is a lot like her and the things that happen to Amelia really happened to Marissa (mostly).

Along with Amelia, Moss has created many characters and is especially drawn to history. Historical books allows her to imagine what it's like to be alive in a different place at a completely different time. And then there are the Max Disaster books which allow her to play with scientific experiments, inventions, and comic strips.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mary Kate on October 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I read a lot of children's and young adult books, adding my favorites to my home library for my grandchildren to enjoy. I was excited about The Pharaoh's Secret primarily because I find ancient Egypt and the legends swirling around the pharaohs and their burial tombs fascinating. I was also happy to see that the main characters, though American, had an Egyptian heritage. IMO, having protagonists from a variety of cultural backgrounds helps all kids learn about others and provides opportunities for kids who share the protagonists' background to say, "Hey, kids like me can be heroes and heroines, too!"

The Pharaoh's Secret promised "an extraordinary adventure full of intrigue, riddles and endless twists and turns". I chose it for reading on a cross-country flight and while I finished it and though it was 'OK', I felt it never quite delivered on that promise or lived up to its potential.

The book starts out well enough. Almost immediately after Talibah Mahmoud arrives in Egypt with her father and younger brother, Adom, she is given a stone carving by a mysterious woman, starts having dreams and visions and begins hearing a voice urging her to "Find him!" I was quickly drawn in. But almost just as quickly, I found myself being pulled back out and I believe that happened for a couple of reasons.
1) Too much of the history needed to understand and solve the mystery was delivered through lectures from Talibah's father or his old friend Rashid or from books Talibah was reading. I'm not sure how the author could have given us this information in a more interesting manner, but it began to feel like a massive info dump and it started to drag the story down.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By perry shell on October 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
As a fan of Marissa Moss's outstanding AMELIA'S NOTEBOOK and MAX'S LOGBOOK seriees, as well as her many picture books and historical journals, I was delighted to discover that she has published a first novel! It was wonderful to lose myself in Moss's masterfully created mystery, which weaves together Egyptian history and contemporary life, the inner world of dreams and the everyday family dynamics. I found myself rooting wholeheartedly for Talibah, a smart and sympathetic teenage girl, as she grapples with the absence of her mother, the pressures of being far from home, and the mysteries of an ancient love affair. As usual, Moss's vivid writing brings "exotic" environments, history, and emotions to life. THE PHAROAH'S SECRET would be a fascinating introduction to Egyptian history ( I didn't know much about the female pharoah Hatshepsut before reading it, and came away fromt he book enlightened, as well as moved and entertained! ) In addition, Moss' beautiful ink drawings enliven the text throughout. My two teenage readers loved the book as well, and we all hope to read MORE of Marissa Moss' books!
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By Shannon M. Mcgee on August 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
After Talibah and Adom mother dies, their father decided it was time to show what he works on. Archaeology of pyramids. He takes them to one of the few queens of Egypt. Talibah begins to have visions and thinks she losing her mind.

I know it is a juvenile kids book but I loved it. I learned about a female pharaoh I had never heard of and the people surrounding her. The mystical way Talibah finds out about the ruler is not really original but how light hearted the book is I am willing to let that pass. I love Talibah and her brother attitude and how they bond together to figure things out. The only thing to make this better if it were a series. So far as I know it is not.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on August 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
I loved it! I'm 8 year's old and I read it in one afternoon. The way the author solved the mystery made it very interesting.
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By E0001061 on October 17, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Great Adventure Mystery story lots of mysterys about a mystery realy exciting lots of cliff hangers you just want to finnish the book
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