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The Red Pyramid: 06/30/11
My husband, son and (to a lesser extent, daughter) and I all enjoyed the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. When the Kane Chronicles were announced I was doubly thrilled: first for having a new tween series by Riordan and second because I have loved reading Egyptian themed books since I was in high school.
The Kane Chronicles begin with The Red Pyramid. In the fashion of the most recent Amelia Peabody books by Elizabeth Peters and The Egyptologist by Arthur Philips, the book is presented as the transcripts from Carter and Sadie Kane, siblings who have been separated since the death of their mother.
Carter has been living with their father, living out of his suitcase, going from dig to dig and museum to museum as his father's research leads. Sadie, meanwhile, has been living in England with her maternal grandparents who want nothing to do with Dr. Julius Kane.
As with the Percy Jackson series, Riordan takes the old Gods, the Egyptian ones, this time and supposes that they are real and still among us. The magic that was described on the temple walls and in the old papyrus scrolls works for those who know how to wield it. And like Percy and his friends, the Kane siblings have ties to the Gods.
Riordan has his own take on how Egyptian theology works, some of which he uses to play up the humor in scenes and other times to make things more dramatic. Still, though, like the Percy Jackson series, there's enough there to point interested kids in the right direction if they want to learn more.