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Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris


Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris

written by R. L. LaFevers with illustrations by Yoko Tanaka

Theodosia Throckmorton spends most of her days --- and some nights --- with her father and mother, and Isis, her cat, at London's Museum of Legends and Antiquities. Alistair, her father, is the museum's head curator. Henrietta, her mother, is an archaeologist with a keen mind and sterling reputation. Her grandmother, Lavinia, is a widow who disapproves of Theodosia's free-spirited lifestyle and is intent on transforming her into a refined young lady.

From a young age, Theodosia has been surrounded by rare books, artifacts and antiquities, so she knows a great deal about ancient history. Her knowledge and special gift of detecting evil spirits are a blessing --- and a curse.

During a gala reception hosted by one of the museum directors, Theodosia publicly reveals the identity of an "ancient" mummy as being the body of a missing official from the British Museum. Grandmother Throckmorton is mortified by her granddaughter's behavior, especially because it occurs in front of Admiral Sopcoate, Lavinia's escort at the reception. After Theodosia's display of bad manners, her grandmother becomes determined to find a governess to oversee Theodosia's education.

The end result is a suspenseful book that should keep middle graders reading past their bedtimes.

To keep Theodosia occupied until a proper governess is employed, her father assigns her the task of cataloging antiquities in the museum's basement. While in the basement, Theodosia discovers an ancient staff that, when joined with a golden orb, creates magical powers. After mummies throughout London mysteriously disappear from their owners and reappear at the museum, Alistair is suspected of stealing them. Theodosia knows her father is innocent. She realizes the staff is the key, but she's not the only one who understands the object's value. The evil members of the Order of Chaos want the magical staff --- no matter the cost.

In her quest to free her father and prevent evil forces from creating a catastrophe, she encounters some old enemies, unlikely allies and a ruthless traitor. She enlists the help of some friends from the past --- former pickpocket Sticky Will and Wigmere, the head of a secret society called the Brothers of the Chosen Keepers. She also encounters members of another secret society who pledge to protect her.

Theodosia must use all of her knowledge and her special gifts to keep the Serpents of Chaos from obtaining the Staff of Osiris. If she fails, her family, her nation and world peace are at risk.

THEODOSIA AND THE STAFF OF OSIRIS is about bravery, loyalty and being true to oneself, no matter what others think. It has a lively and engaging main character and a plot that gently weaves facts about ancient history within the storyline. The end result is a suspenseful book that should keep middle graders reading past their bedtimes.

Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt on September 7, 2009

Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris
(Theodosia Throckmorton #2)
written by R. L. LaFevers with illustrations by Yoko Tanaka

  • Publication Date: September 7, 2009
  • Genres: Children's 7-10
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • ISBN-10: 0547248199
  • ISBN-13: 9780547248196