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|Horus and the curse of everlasting regret|
Author: Voskuil, Hannah
In 1934, hoping to earn the $1,000 reward they both need, young Peter and Tunie team up with Tunie's bat, Perch, and an Egyptian boy, Horus, cursed and mummified at age ten, to find a ten-year-old missing girl, Dorothy James.
Kirkus Reviews (05/01/16)
School Library Journal (06/01/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (06/16)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2016 It’s 1934, Peter is desperate to get away from his abusive older stepbrothers for the summer, and he sees a way out in a robotics camp, but he needs to come up with two hundred bucks to pay for it. Tunie is taking care of her ailing father and trying to gather the cash to get him the medicine he needs. When information about a kidnapped girl hits the news, both kids fix on the $1000 reward for finding her, and when they accidentally meet in the basement of the museum of where the girl was last seen, they decide to pool their efforts and share the money. They also discover someone who gives them a one-up on anyone else searching: Horus, the ancient mummy of a ten-year-old boy, who’s cursed for eternity to wander only at night and who has several clues that will help track down the kidnapping fiends. This is a cozy mystery with a little bit of adventure and two witty, clever, and eminently likeable protagonists. There’s no historical context offered for Horus, but he offers a plenty of humor, with the goofy joy he finds in reading newspapers, and heart, with his pondering of how to make up for past misdeeds. Add an adorable bat and a helpful robot as sidekicks for our heroes, some perfectly sneaky and corrupt bad guys, a maritime race to save Tunie and Peter, and a well-deserved happy ending for all (except the villains), and you’ve got yourself a story complete with undeniable charm and exciting escapades. KQG - Copyright 2016 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 06/01/2016 Gr 3–6—Peter's dream is to attend Camp Contraption, engineering new inventions over summer break instead of being stuck in Harbortown with his two menacing stepbrothers. Unfortunately, Peter's family can't afford the $200 fee. Tunie's dream is for her father to recover from his serious illness. Even while sneaking in at night to do her father's job as the museum's janitor and writing calligraphy for the bakery in exchange for day-old food, Tunie can't afford a doctor's visit. When the daughter of a business tycoon goes missing at an outdoor Egypt exhibit, both Peter and Tunie decide to try to find her for the $1,000 reward. A coincidental meeting at the museum's Egyptian exhibit leads both kids to Horus, a mummy who behaved so badly in life that he was cursed to an eternity of regret. Horus was awake during the kidnapping, giving the young detectives their first clue and helping more as the mystery unfolds. Voskuil does a wonderful job of moving the plot along swiftly while also creating believable and relatable characters. The short chapters will appeal to younger and reluctant readers, but fans of Egyptian mythology will be disappointed in the limited role it plays in this title. Additionally, there is not a strong sense of the 1934 setting or where Harbortown is located geographically. VERDICT An additional purchase for most middle grade collections.—Rebecca Quinones, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 07/01/2016 It’s 1934, and the kids of Harbortown have their problems. Ten-year-old Dorothy has been kidnapped while she was attending “Mummies of Ancient Egypt,” a museum exhibit. Tormented by his stepbrothers, Peter dreams of rescuing Dorothy and using the reward money to escape to summer camp. Nine-year-old Tunie, who can barely afford an aspirin tablet, longs to take her seriously ill father to a doctor. And Horus, the walking, talking mummy of an ancient Egyptian child, would like to escape the curse that keeps him alive. Peter, Tunie, and Horus, along with Tunie’s remarkable pet bat, mount a highly entertaining rescue mission that, despite desperate moments, leads to a happy ending. The small drawings appearing at chapter headings and the many short sentences help make this chapter book accessible to young readers. Voskuil does a good job of filling in the characters’ backstories and supplying clues to the mystery while keeping up the pace of the main narrative. Recommended for readers who enjoy good old-fashioned storytelling with elements of historical fiction, fantasy, and adventure. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.