Magic Mirror: The Tomb of Time

Reycraft. (Magic Mirror: Bk. 3). Apr. 2020. 112p. Tr $12.95. ISBN 9781478869245.
Gr 2-6–Miranda and Marko’s archaeologist grandfather sends his grandchildren artifacts from his digs. Among them is a magic mirror that the children use to travel back in time and watch history unfold, putting themselves in harm’s way. In this third installment, the siblings travel back to 210 BCE and the reign of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the cruel first emperor of China, during the construction of the Great Wall. Miranda and Marko must deliver the emperor’s stone seal to kindhearted Prince Fusu to prevent power-hungry Chancellor Zhao Gao from naming Fusu’s younger brother Huhai as the second emperor upon the death of Emperor Qin. The authors also weave the legend of Meng Jiang Nu, the Lady of the Wall, into Miranda and Marko’s quest by having Meng help the children with their mission. There is no pronunciation guide for the characters’ names, and a significant amount of the chosen vocabulary is above the audience’s reading level. The stilted sentence structure doesn’t feel authentic and is likely be a turnoff for readers.
VERDICT The time travel theme will appeal to young readers, but this chapter book’s shortcomings spoil the pleasure of its adventurous plot. Not recommended.

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