Reviewer: Fiona Ingram, a South African writer who loves books, travel, animals, antiques, and adventures of all kinds! Read Fiona’s author siteand find out about her recently published children’s adventure novel
Reading Level: 7-12
Paperback: 20 pages
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
Rating: 4 four stars
Available from Kalahari
Twelve-year-old James Questor accompanies his father, a Harvard professor, to the Copan Valley, Central America where the professor is investigating the ancient ruins of the city of Copan. Not only is this an adventure for the curious boy, brimful of questions, but it’s also a way of stepping back in time and learning about the ancient Mayan culture that disappeared inexplicably. Experts have proposed a variety of theories: was it war, famine, overbuilding, the lack of water? No one knows, but for James, this is an opportunity to study history up close by exploring the ruins and examining the remains of frescoes, artifacts, and hieroglyphics. Filling in as his father’s assistant is a great way of digging into the past. James is fascinated by what they find on their expedition: not only ruins, but also the remains of huge pyramids, and tall stone slabs called stelae, covered in ancient Mayan writing. Through his questions, James learns about the magnificent Mayan culture that stretched from southern Mexico to northern Honduras.
This is a wonderful book for curious and adventurous kids, eager to learn through having fun. James uses maps to trace their journey, and the beautifully detailed illustrations and maps are a visual feast. The author is a gifted artist and his images are simply wonderful. Just studying the illustrations will teach a keen young reader so much. This is the kind of book that makes learning fun and which young readers will want to treasure.