The Secret of the Sacred Scarab

Children's Books

By Fiona Ingram

Publisher : iUniverse

ABOUT Fiona Ingram

Fiona Ingram
Writing a children’s book—The Secret of the Sacred Scarab—was an unexpected step, inspired by a recent trip to Egypt. The tale of the sacred scarab began life as a little anecdotal tale for my 2 nephews (then 10 and 12), who had accompanied me on the Egyptian trip. This short story g More...


A 5000-year-old mystery comes to life when a scruffy peddler gives Adam and Justin Sinclair an old Egyptian scarab on their very first day in Egypt. Only when the evil Dr. Faisal Khalid shows a particular interest in the cousins and their scarab, do the boys realise they are in terrible danger. Dr. Khalid wants the relic at all costs. Justin and Adam embark upon the adventure of a lifetime, taking them down the Nile and across the harsh desert in their search for the legendary tomb of the Scarab King, an ancient Egyptian ruler. They are plunged into a whirlpool of hazardous and mysterious events when Dr. Khalid kidnaps them. They survive terrifying dangers in a hostile environment (such as a giant cobra and sinking sand), pursued by enemies in their quest to solve the secret of the sacred scarab. They must translate the hieroglyphic clues on the underside of the scarab, as well as rescue the missing archaeologist James Kinnaird, and their friend, the Egyptologist Ebrahim Faza, before time runs out. They must also learn more about the ancient Seven Stones of Power and the mysterious Shemsu-Hor. With just their wits, courage, and each other, the boys manage to survive … only to find that the end of one journey is the beginning of another!

Writing a children’s book—The Secret of the Sacred Scarab—was an unexpected step, inspired by a recent trip to Egypt. In fact, I should say I owe it all to my mother, who read about a tour to Egypt in a family magazine. I wasn’t sure about Egypt because Europe is more to my liking, but Mother was insistent, and so I went along with her whim. We took my two nephews along for the ride, and they became the ‘models’ for the two young heroes of the book, Justin and Adam Sinclair. We had quite an amazing trip and since I am a journalist, I wrote notes, collected brochures, and took many pictures ... although I wasn't sure why I was doing all that. Luckily for me, it came in handy later on. The tale of the sacred scarab began life as a little anecdotal tale for my nephews (then 10 and 12). When we got back to South Africa and had admired the photos and sorted out the souvenirs, I wanted to give them something special so they could remember the trip. I refreshed my memory with all the material I had brought back, then I picked up a writing pad and a red ballpoint pen. Then, without even thinking about it, I wrote the title, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, and the first word, Egypt! The rest just seemed to flow. I used the actual trip as the guideline and tried to incorporate the many unusual things that had happened to us, just infusing them with more exciting meaning. This short story grew into a children’s book, the first in the adventure series, Chronicles of the Stone. It had to become a series because, by the end of the first book, I realized that the children couldn’t possibly save the world in one book ... they’d have to carry on. The story just grew from there. I have finished the second adventure novel in the series (The Search for the Stone of Ecalibur), and this book takes the boys off to Scotland, where they encounter medieval castles, ancient swords, crumbling manuscripts and secret ciphers, and more danger than ever before. They are also joined by an unexpected companion....


Reviewed by:    Barbara Milbourn for Writers in the Sky

Author Fiona Ingram understands that young readers have no patience for long, drawn-out prologues. At the first sentence—a one-word exclamation—of The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, she jettisons readers off on an adventure to a far-away land with two young cousins.

Justin and Adam are leaving the comforts of home and the family dog for a one-week adventure in Egypt with ace writer/researcher Aunt Isabel and their loveable and zany Gran. In exchange for missing school, their assignment is to keep a daily record of things they’ve seen and learned along the way. It so happens that their aunt’s current project and the boys’ recent history lessons coincide and set the reader on firm footing before they even lift off.

Aunt Isabel has guaranteed their maximum travel experience and personal safety by booking them on a tour with a host of entertaining fellow sojourners and a tour-guide who is suspected of knowing far more than she shares with the group. Safety vanishes early in the hot, still air of a marketplace when the boys are encountered by a ragged peddler who bestows upon them four scarabs; one of which is particularly ancient and coveted.

The story flies forward from there as the boys put together fortuitous pieces of a puzzle in quest of a legendary tomb of an ancient Egyptian ruler and a missing archeologist. Ingram writes the landscape and the legend vividly and keeps the boys barely one step ahead of death and dismemberment at the hands of men in black, the fangs of a giant cobra, and all manner of danger that lurks in caves, shifting sands, and things hidden in deep, dark places.  

The Secret of the Sacred Scarab is entertainment for readers up to around age fourteen and for those who wish they were fourteen again. It is at once adventure and history, art and architecture, humor and redemption, travel writing and social studies, and great fun. Fiona Ingram presents this as her first of seven in a series titled Chronicles of the Stone.

Recent Amazon Reviews:

Five Stars


An Excellent Mystery, February 28, 2009


William P. Robertson "Bucktail novelist" (Duke Center, PA USA)    

Fiona Ingram creates very believable boy characters caught up in a scintillating adventure. Her descriptions of the Egyptian landscape are breathtaking. She also imparts a wonderful knowledge of Egyptian culture in a way that young people will understand. Her map and diagrams will help her readers follow the story more easily.



Superb, January 22, 2009


R. E. Tregaskis (South Africa)

Fiona has done a remarkable story and everyone who has children will delight in either reading this story to them or letting them read it again and again. It will become a classic soon.