DiscoverMiddle Grade

The Eye of Ra


Worth reading 😎

A portal adventure romp that will appeal to young lovers of history and ancient Egypt.

John and his sister Sarah are moving from Colorado to Maryland. Sarah is excited, John isn’t. When they go on their last family hike in the wilderness of Colorado, the siblings decide to explore a cave they find. They discover the cave is no ordinary cave when it transports them to ancient Egypt. They quickly make a new friend, Zack, who helps show them the ropes of living in Egypt and working on the pyramids. John also discovers that just like him, Zack is nervous about an upcoming move. When vandalism delays the building of a pyramid, the siblings set out to discover the truth behind the delay while John learns to come to terms with leaving Colorado.


The siblings had an interesting dynamic with Sarah being the one eager to push forward while John is more cautious. The ancient Egypt setting will also appeal to fans of Egypt since this explores the setting and culture of ancient Egypt. I was a big fan of the Magic Treehouse series and this did feel reminiscent of the way that series explored history, making it great for young history lovers. The fear and anger at moving is also something that is easily relatable for kids struggling with a recent or upcoming move. As this story shows, a fear of moving isn’t new at all. There are also a few lessons hidden within the story.


While I was excited for the ancient setting and curious to see how the sibling dynamic continued to play out, the plot sometimes lacked tension and direction as the book focused on teaching the reader about ancient Egypt and how different it is from today. At times I wasn’t sure where the plot was heading or the plot seemed to stall altogether. Then once the plot picked back up everything happened very fast. The resolution surrounding the villain also felt disappointing. Overall I would have enjoyed a tighter plot and pacing.

Reviewed by

I'm a publishing pro who loves to support all sides of the publishing industry. As a reader I enjoy a wide variety of genres. Visit my website for my editing services and publishing advice and my instagram for book pictures.

Summer Break

About the author

Ben Gartner is the award-winning author of THE EYE OF RA adventure series for middle graders. His books take readers for a thrilling ride, maybe even teaching them something in the meantime. Ben can be found living and writing near the mountains with his wife and two boys. More at view profile

Published on February 01, 2020

Published by Crescent Vista Press

40000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Middle Grade

Reviewed by