Ghosts of the Nile By Cheryl Harkness

Wow… okay… um…

This book is pretty short, and I’m not sure if it was supposed to be a fictional comic/story with real-world info, or just an info-dump? Props to the Author for trying, at least.

Most of it is done in Comic Style, Pictures and Word Balloons, but there’s a lot of OTHER stuff and many of the pages, while near and colorful and if you take the time to read them, have LOTS of info… it’s all kinda crammed in together in all kinds of directions and hard to follow along as well.

I picked this up expecting a story, mostly. The premise of the book is a Boy gets Sent Back in Time, after all. The Comic-style was a pleasant surprise, too. But it just doesn’t make up for the choppiness of the supposed Story. There’s no easy flow to follow no matter how you look at it. The first three pages are alright, the third page has a side bar with more info on it that’s interesting and noteworthy but overall unnecessary to the ‘story’ part, but after that it’s a complete mess with hand-written looking lettering all over the place.

Its in small gaps in the artwork, in lists that go along with numbers on the pictures, mixed in with typed-looking blocks of text. Its mixed in with word balloons that, at some points, are very confusing to follow in the right order due to the ‘balloon tails’ crisscrossing each other more then once, and through all of this the ‘story’ part of the book is suffering big time.

You see the main characters, true. They’re on nearly every page and in every scene, but I think this book could have been done better with a bit more time taken to rearrange things a bit more, or opted for a slightly older target audience and less comic-stuff in favor of paragraphs, or just made longer to allow the comic style a better flow. If that couldn’t have been arranged, giving the story more thought and focusing on it instead of the facts would have made a big improvement, like having the Main Character Talk to some other people, or something.

I get its to get younger kids into Ancient Egypt, but it just seems like maybe it could have been done differently and had a better outcome.

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Filed under Childrens Fiction, Fiction, Historical Fiction, History, Junior Fiction, Non-Fiction

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