Magic Tree House: Secret of the Pyramid
Ancient Egypt. This third Magic Tree House adventure follows the pattern of the previous books. It’s a read alone book aimed at 5-7 year-olds, with clear informative black and white drawings and an easy-to-read typeface. The two children, Jack and Annie, go back to ancient Egypt, lured by a mysterious black cat, and find themselves following a funeral cortège to its burial place inside the pyramid.
The author takes Egyptian funerary rites: the sarcophagus and the funeral procession; the burial chamber deep within the pyramid; the false passages to deter tomb robbers; Egyptian hieroglyphs; The Book of the Dead (the ancient Egyptian guide to the trials awaiting the soul in the afterlife); and how bodies were embalmed, and wraps them up in a simple story.
Jack and Annie meet the ghost of Queen Hutepi, who has been waiting for help for a thousand years. She has mislaid her copy of The Book of The Dead, and she begs Jack and Annie to help. This involves deciphering some hieroglyphs which lead the children to the lost scroll which they place beside the queen’s rotting mummy (an episode not for sensitive children). They then get lost inside the false passages before being rescued by the black cat.
In my experience, if children are interested in a subject they have no problem with any long words involved, so I’m sure they’ll cope with hieroglyphs and sarcophagus, which are both clearly explained and illustrated. There’s just enough information to set the groundwork for a lasting interest in Pharaonic Egypt, together with a large dollop of adventure. My guess is that most children will enjoy it.
This is a story about some people who go back in time to Ancient Egypt. It’s a very exciting story with lots of adventure. I liked the mysterious cat who led them out of the pyramid. We’re doing Ancient Egypt at school at the moment, so it’s a very good inspiration to read this. I learnt that when people die, especially if they’re kings or something, they believe that they’ll go in a boat to the next life.
Jack and Annie, who are brother and sister, are good characters. Annie is really fun because she’s not usually scared and is quite fearless. Jack is very clever and interested in mummies and Egypt.
I think this book would be good for five to seven year olds. I enjoyed the way it was set out, with the magic tree house which leads them to different places in history.