adventure, tween

The Silent Sphinx

Author: Michael Khort
Publisher: Excursion Press
Genre: Adventure
ISBN: 978-0982632505
Pages: 244
Price: $9.49

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Robby is on a field trip with his fifth-grade class when he sees the black sphinx for the first time. Along with his teacher, Mr. Reynolds, they talk to a mysterious stranger, who has sinister plans for them. They soon find themselves on a journey to Egypt, in search of the lost tomb of the pharaoh Setmesses.

Mr. Reynolds holds an important clue the Greek smuggler, Straticus, has been looking for all his life. Now the teacher and student are key players in this dangerous quest. Can they find the missing tomb before Straticus determines they’re irrelevant and decides to eliminate them?

As an avid student of ancient Egypt, I was fascinated by the turn of events in this story, leading to this unknown tomb. It’s always fun to imagine how it would feel to make such a discovery, and this aspect of the story didn’t disappoint. But I did have questions about why Straticus would decide to take these two people with him. It seems it would have been simpler to just steal the necessary fragment from Mr. Reynolds and go without them.

While the fast-paced adventure and fascinating discovery in The Silent Sphinx would appeal to a reader of Robby’s age, Robby himself was not a very admirable character. He played such a small part in the story, being more of a spectator than a participant, and he showed very little courage. Kids prefer to read about strong main characters who become major players in adventure, not just sitting on the sidelines watching the adults handle things for them.

Reviewer: Alice Berger