Book Review: Amaze Adventures, Secrets of the Pyramids and Storming a Castle

Reading Level

Ages 9-12

More on These Subjects

• Ancient Egypt
• The Egyptian Pyramids
• The Middle Ages

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These two new books are lavishly illustrated, heavily researched bundles of fun for kids of all ages.

They are part of the MAZE Adventure series, which presents historic snapshots, accompanied by just enough historical information to make you wanting more, and punctuated by mazes that even older kids will have a challenging time getting through.

These two books, Secrets of the Pyramids and Storming a Castle, make natural entryways into the MAZE idea. Pyramids have secret passageways, pyramid-building villages were vast and had lots of working parts, and medieval villages castles were rife with possibilities for finding the best way to attack the situation.

You even get a different kind of problem-solving activity in Cracking the Code, a word puzzle that requires you to decipher hieroglyphs (or a scroll, in the case of Storming a Castle) in order to read a secret message.

And in completing these mazes, kids (and even adults) will become acutely aware of the myriad details that make up an ancient Egyptian Pyramid or a medieval castle. So often, we think of them as a large entity and not as a sum of many small parts. These books, in a way, force us to think about how one little thing like a block passageway can totally affect the outcome of a siege or keep a secret for thousands of years.

Author Graham White and the National Geographic staff have done an excellent job of including historical details to inform and also tantalize the reader into doing more research, without overwhelming what is essentially an activity book with too much text.

And before concluding that these books are too primary, click on one of the images below and see for yourself just how challenging the mazes really are.

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Social Studies for Kids
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David White