The Silent Sphinx
248 pages (Includes front and back matter)
Although The Silent Sphinx by Michael Khort is a work of fiction, readers—in their minds—will sense and experience the reality of the plot, characters, geographical locations and the exciting “page-turning” events. The author uses his imagination, creativity, excellent writing skills, and vivid description to bring this about.
When Robby Reardon, a ten-year-old boy from a small Midwest city, prepared for his fifth grade field trip to a nearby nationally known museum, he had no idea of the astonishing adventure he was about to begin. Once the children arrived at the museum, everything went smoothly until the class split up and the students were permitted to spend thirty-five minutes exploring the exhibits, etc., on their own. Robby ultimately went to visit the Egyptian exhibit that was on tour in the museum because he felt sure he would find Mr. Reynolds, the fifth-grade teacher there. Thanks to him, Robby had become really interested in ancient Egypt. Mr. Reynolds had traveled to Egypt and even worked on archaeological digs. One of Robby’s prize possessions that hung in his bedroom was a copy of a rubbing—an impression of the original surface of a piece of hieroglyphics—that his teacher had purchased while in Cairo. This rubbing plays an important role in the unfolding storyline.
Together in the museum, Robby and Mr. Reynolds were looking at an exhibit of the black granite sphinx in wonder. It was ten feet tall with the face of a king from the past and the body of a lion that was ready to pounce. Their conversation regarding the sphinx was overheard by a middle-aged man named Mr. Straticus—later to be called “Uncle Alex” by Robby. Though colorful, confident, powerful, strong, and rich, this man was also a dangerous smuggler and certainly not a friend to Robby or Mr. Reynolds. He kidnapped them from the museum to help him find a treasure. What information did they have that the smuggler needed? Purchase this book to find out!
The kidnapped victims are taken to Greece and then to Egypt. Their adventures are interesting—even enjoyable at times—but glimpses of their kidnapper’s behavior tell Mr. Reynolds early on that once he and Robby serve their purposes, they would be expendable.
Readers will be intrigued by the discovery of a populated underground city in Egypt, Robby’s mixed feelings about his captor, the fifth grader’s position of importance in making crucial decisions along the way, the battles, and Uncle Alex’s fight with the mummified Pharaoh. Throw in the importance of Robby’s plastic prize container that he had taken with him on the field trip as well as other twists and subplots, and you have a mesmerizing novel.
I highly recommend The Silent Sphinx to young readers and feel certain that they will be looking forward to reading future books written by this upcoming author.
Bettie Corbin Tucker
For Independent Professional Book Reviewers
June 27, 2010