Middle Grade

People of the Sun

By

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This is an excellently written, satisfying conclusion to the Eye of Ra series and is a great fit for advanced middle grade readers.

Time travel can be exciting, but the ability to traverse history comes with great responsibility. Siblings John and Sarah are visiting their Aunt Lorraine in Santa Cruz, California, about a month after their family moved to Maryland for their dad’s job. While out on a hike, an earthquake shatters the relative calm around them, and two mysterious strangers emerge from the trees. They have come specifically to retrieve John and Sarah, who are the only people with the power to save the world they love.


This third in the Eye of Ra series transports readers back and forth through time, blending theories of time alteration with historic events. Mind-bending considerations of how technology and electromagnetism can affect the passage of time offer the opportunity for profound reflection about traditional views of chronology. Like the other books in this series, this one is thoroughly researched, embedding readers in the world of the Mexica in 1519 CE through a dynamic and accessible narrative. Captivating in its delivery, readers of all ages will devour the story and it will resonate in their minds long after it ends.


As might be expected based on the history of the Mexica people, this story takes on a darker tone than the two previous novels. Sarah and John have matured beyond their years and they, like the readers following their adventures, are now prepared for some of the more macabre scenes in this narrative. John and Sarah must rely on themselves and each other in multiple ways as the story progresses, deepening their relationship as they work out the problems they encounter. 


At the end of the book, readers are offered a recipe for xocolatl, a beverage well-known in Mexica culture. Additionally, an author’s note offers a wealth of information about the history in this book, links, and critical thinking questions so readers can delve more deeply into the world this novel creates. Thought-provoking, compelling, and exquisitely designed, this is a satisfying conclusion to the Eye of Ra series and is a highly recommended addition to libraries for advanced middle grade readers.

Reviewed by

I review books for kids, tweens, and teens and blog about them on my website. To date, I have over 500 published reviews. Sign up for my monthly newsletter at www.maryrlanni.com to get recommendations straight to your inbox! I primarily write reviews, but will create video reviews upon request.

The End of the World

About the author

Ben Gartner is the award-winning author of The Eye of Ra time travel adventure series for middle graders. His books take readers for a thrilling ride, maybe even teaching them something in the meantime. More at BenGartner.com. view profile

Published on February 01, 2022

Published by Crescent Vista Press

50000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Middle Grade

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