In debut author Voskuil’s scrappy, supernatural-tinged mystery set in the 1930s, two children hope to solve a kidnapping and collect the $1,000 reward. Ten-year-old Dorothy James was last seen at the Mummies of Ancient Egypt exhibit at the local fair, and Tunie happens to be familiar with the Harbortown Natural History Museum that houses the exhibit: she has been doing her father’s janitorial work there ever since he fell ill. Peter, who loves building gadgets, is desperate to go away to Camp Contraption over the summer, but his family can’t afford it. After the kids run into each other in the museum while looking for clues, they are shocked when the smallest mummy comes to life. They soon learn that the undead Horus was cursed for thievery, is desperate for company, and may have details about Dorothy’s kidnappers. In addition to the central mystery, Voskuil explores bullying, forgiveness, and friendship in a light-humored third-person narrative that shifts among Tunie, Peter, and Horus. Readers will enjoy spending time with all three, as well as Tunie’s pet bat, Perch. Ages 8–12. Agent: Mary Cummings, Becky Amster Literary. (Aug.) -Publishers Weekly
A boy and girl try to rescue a kidnapped heiress for the reward money, aided by a boy mummy who suffers from a curse inflicted on him thousands of years ago. It’s 1934, the middle of the Great Depression, and Peter wants to attend a summer camp for young inventors, but it's expensive—he needs that reward money. Meanwhile, Tunie struggles to make extra money and to secretly do her ailing father's custodian job—she could use that reward, too. When Tunie sneaks into the museum where her father works to clean it, she meets Peter, who is looking for clues to the kidnapping. The two white children meet Horus, a boy mummy who can't leave the museum because of his curse, and they all become friends. But when Peter and Tunie are kidnapped themselves as they pursue the reward, they will have to rely on Horus and Perch, Tunie’s remarkable pet bat, to save both them and the heiress. But Horus can’t leave the museum! Could he find a solution to their problem and his curse all at once? Voskuil creates an intriguing character in Horus, her little mummy, who seems poised for more adventures in the afterlife. She introduces just the right amount of tension to keep pages turning, tempering it with the supernatural mummy and the highly intelligent bat, who helps to save the day. A very nice historical mystery with a sweet dose of the paranormal. (Paranormal suspense. 8–12) -Kirkus Reviews
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