Ra the Mighty: The Great Tomb Robbery

Holiday House. Oct. 2019. 256p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780823442409.
Gr 2-4–In this latest installment in the series set in ancient Egypt, lovably spoiled Pharaoh’s cat Ra is once again persuaded to solve a whodunit with pals Khepri the scarab and common cat Miu. Ra is visiting the village of Set Ma’at so artisans can work on his extravagant tomb. Then a robbery is discovered nearby. Turmoil intensifies when Ra’s chaperone, a shifty vizier, sends a look-alike back to the Pharaoh’s palace in Ra’s place. The large print, simple sentence structure, and fun, stylized illustrations suggest that this is the type of early middle grade book most often read by second and third graders. However, the authentic ancient Egyptian nomenclature and complex character relationships will make this a challenging read for the target audience. This book would be best enjoyed either with considerable adult guidance or by seven- to nine-year-olds with advanced decoding skills and an interest in the historical setting. This could be a great classroom read-aloud to supplement a related unit. 
VERDICT A charming and intellectually stimulating piece of anthropomorphic historical fiction, which may struggle to find its reader in the typical member of its target age group.

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