Comments for The Magnificent Mummy Maker
According to the insert at the back of the book, Elvira Woodruff was inspired to write The Magnificent Mummy Maker based on an actual school project mummy she had seen on one of her many classroom appearances. The real mummy was made by a pair of girls but in the novel it's done by Andy who wants one chance at doing something better than his step-brother, Jason (aka "Mr. Genius").
The Magnificent Mummy Maker has the same theme of competition between siblings of blended families as Yours Turly Shirley. Of the two, Andy's relations with Jason and their younger half-sister strikes me as more realistic than that of Shirley and Jackie. Woodruff gives each family member a chance to voice his or her feelings and perspectives which makes for a more interesting and believable story.
Mummy Maker isn't just a story of sibling rivalry, it also has a strong fantasy element. The mummy that Andy draws in school is inspired by the mummy of a priestess the class sees in the local museum. After seeing her, Andy believes that her ka has entered his body and has started to grant him wishes. Through these wishes Andy and Jason learn to be better brothers and to appreciate their family situation.