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Egyptologist Transports Children From Chicago To Ancient Egypt

Oak Park author Malayna Evans and publisher Tantrum Books will release Jagger Jones & The Mummy's Ankh, a debut middle-grade novel, on May 28.The story draws on the author's Ph.D. in Egyptian History from the University of Chicago and features diverse protagonists, inspired by her son, who told her, at 9-years-old, that he wanted to read a book featuring a biracial American kid like him visiting ancient Egypt.


In Jagger Jones & the Mummy's Ankh, two South Side siblings are transported 3,000 years back in time to ancient Egypt and tasked with saving the royal family. The book combines magic and adventure with real historical people, places and artifacts.

"I'm drawn to anything that pulls different cultures together and contrasts the human values we all share with the differences that make us unique," Evans said.

"So, for example, in Jagger Jones and the Mummy's Ankh, I've highlighted aspects of ancient life I knew would surprise modern kids, like boys wearing make-up and kids being bald, while also excavating how things we take for granted would shock people of the past. Jagger's smartphone, and his little sister's bubblegum, make quite an impression in ancient Egypt."

The three-book series was inspired by Evans' favorite ancient Egyptian blessing: ankh, wedja, seneb, which means (may you have) life, prosperity and health. The book explores modern and ancient notions of life (ankh). Books two and three, coming in 2020 and 2021, will similarly contrast modern and ancient ideas surrounding "prosperity" and "health."

Evans is scheduled to appear at a book launch on June 29th, at 2. p.m., at 57th Street Bookstore in Hyde Park.


Comments welcome.


Posted on May 21, 2019

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