Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Vandemark Mummy

How's this for an excuse for falling behind on my blog entries? My dog ate my internet cable. It's true. On Christmas Eve our whole family was curled up in front of the TV watching a video ("The Muppet Christmas Carol" if you must know). We had let our dog outside and kinda forgot about her so she seized the opportunity to do some digging, discovering our buried internet cable and its delectable plastic coating. The result was no internet service or cable TV until today, four days later. It's not good to have your cable service go out during the Christmas holiday as the appointments for repair are pretty far out.

So anyway, I actually completed reading The Vandemark Mummy by Cynthia Voigt several days ago but couldn't post this until today. This is a book recommended for ages 10-14 and is yet another one my kids read during their home schooling years. The writing is well done; the author has won a Newbery medal and a Newbery Honors award for other works. The plot concerns a father and his two children who have just moved to Maine from the west coast in order for the father to take up duties as curator of the museum at Vandemark College. The mother had an excellent job back home so, apparently, had decided to remain behind. Obviously this issue crops up from time to time as we go through the story and we get the kid's perspectives on a possible divorce in the future.

The main storyline concerns a mummy which disappears after having been bequeathed to the college. Since the father in the story is curator for the museum, guess who is on the hook to get it back? But since this is a book for youngsters, it is indeed the youngsters who solve the case, putting the grownups and police to shame and maneuvering through some dangerous thrills along the way. Lots of time is spent examining the kids' outlook on life in this new place, making friends (or not), and what will happen to their parent's marriage. There is some good history here, bringing to light that not all mummies were ancient Egyptian mummies. There is also some good, thought-provoking, coming of age stuff that makes this a bit meatier than many books for similar aged readers. I was disappointed that the ending did not contain a resolution to the parent's situation but perhaps it is more indicative of real life this way.

Another blog tomorrow and never fear, the much anticipated annual awards reveal is coming very soon as well. Cheers.

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Top 10 Books in no particular order (Well Known Authors)

  • "The Stand" by Stephen King
  • "Kane and Able" by Jeffrey Archer
  • "The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara
  • "The Dark Elf Trilogy" by RA Salvatore
  • "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss
  • "River God" by Wilbur Smith
  • "Mortalis" by RA Salvatore
  • "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
  • "Centennial" by James A Michener
  • "The Repairman Jack" series by F. Paul Wilson

Top Books/ Series in no particular order (Lesser Known Authors)

  • "The Sculpter" by Gregory Funaro
  • "Power Down" by Ben Coes
  • "Revolution at Sea Saga" by James L. Nelson
  • "Black Rain" by Graham Brown
  • "Top Producer" by Norb Vonnegut
  • "Prairie" by Anna Lee Waldo
  • "The Wild Blue" by W. Boyne & S Thompson
  • "Unsolicited" series by Julie Kaewert
  • "Freedom" by William Safire