NORWALK, Conn. -- Kids can travel back to King Tut's court along with young magician Fletcher Perry and Arielle Torres in Rowayton author Page McBrier's new book "Abracadabra Tut."
McBrier is the author of more than 40 children's books, including New York Times bestseller "Beatrice's Goat." Her newest book tells the story of Fletcher, a middle school magician who purchases a magical coffin at an auction that transports him and his friend Arielle back to the time of King Tut, where he becomes the young pharaoh's protector. The book's cover is designed by Norwalk artist Karl Gude.
The book is the product of about 18 years of work for McBrier. She was originally inspired when she took her son to a meeting of the Society of Young Magicians in Stamford.
"I overheard one of the magicians tell the kids that ancient Egyptians practiced magic," McBrier said. "That got my imagination going."
She wanted to write a story about ancient Egypt and King Tut, the young pharaoh who died at the age of 18 and whose tomb sparked a media frenzy when it was discovered in 1922.
Not wanting to write a story about a mummy's curse, which was a popular urban legend surrounding King Tut at the time of his tomb's unearthing, she decided to incorporate elements of time travel into the book. She began researching everything she could about Tut's life.
One of the reasons the book took so long to write is because as she was writing it new discoveries kept being made about Tut and his death. When she started it, the popular theory was that he had been murdered, which would have been a major plot point in the book. However, DNA findings and other research in recent years have disproved that theory. This led to rewrites, where she focused on other elements on his life, such as his marriage to his relative, Ankhesenamun, as well as the various advisers and others who were part of his life.
"As I started doing the research, I realized this was the story of a boy and a girl who didn't have a lot of control over their lives, but really cared for each other," she said.
Throughout the writing she also worked on many other projects. When she's not writing kids' books, McBrier is a teaching artist for the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, and leads art workshops and residencies in schools throughout the state.
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