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The Egyptian Box: 07/29/09
I have a thing for Egyptian themed books so when I saw The Egyptian Box by Jane Louise Curry at my local library I snatched it up. It's about Tee trying to come to terms with being forced to move from Maine to Oasis California. There she is given a shabti as part of her inheritance from her late Great Uncle who was an antique dealer specializing in unusual and mystical things.
Tee's brother transliterates the hieroglphs on the shabti box well enough to activate the magic to turn the shabti doll into a living, breathing servant who is at first glance at the beck and call of Tee. Tee sees a way out of more than just the mundane chores of setting the table and washing the dishes. The trick is just in teaching the shabti to read and speak English like she does.
The Egyptian Box has a heavy dose of "be careful what you wish for." If this book were written for adults Tee would not have fared so well. For a chapter book there is a good deal of suspense. What was a fun way to get out of chores, PE and homework becomes a potentially dangerous threat.
Other Egyptian themed books aimed at younger readers that are worth reading: The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, The Magnificent Mummy Maker by Elvira Woodruff and The Cat in the Mirror by Mary Stolz.