The Eye of Ra (Book 1)

⭐️ Gold Recipient, Mom’s Choice Awards Honoring Excellence
⭐️ Silver Medal in Children’s Adventure, 2020 International Readers’ Favorite Awards
⭐️ Award-winning Finalist, Next Generation Book Awards
⭐️ 1st Place in both Children’s Adventure AND Grades 4th-6th, 2020 TopShelf Awards
⭐️ Grand Prize Winner, Colorado Author Project

Exploring a mysterious cave in the mountains behind their house, John and his sister Sarah are shocked to discover they’ve time traveled to ancient Egypt!

Now they must work together to find a way back home from an ancient civilization of golden desert sand and a towering new pyramid, without parents to save them. The adventures abound—cobras, scorpions, a tomb robber, and more! The two kids have to trust each other, make friends who can help, and survive the challenges thrown at them . . . or be stuck in ancient Egypt forever.

For readers graduating from the Magic Tree House series and ready for intense action, dive into this middle grade novel rich with meticulous historical detail. 

ISBNs:
hardback 9781734155242
paperback 9781734155211
ebook 9781734155204

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“An engaging, eventful, history-based fantasy with realistic protagonists and an enjoyable, twist-filled plot.” —Kirkus Reviews. Full review here.

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Fun, action-packed read, with a healthy dose of historical facts. Kids will be hooked on this one!” —Adam Perry, author of The Magicians of Elephant County

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“The Eye of Ra is perfect for fans of the Magic Tree House series (so, like, everyone) with its time-hopping story of adventure that will have kids gasping and laughing.” —Sam Subity, author of The Last Shadow Warrior

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This book was awesome!the book captivated me in a story of two siblings, trying to handle and save one world and, at the same time, get back to another.” —10-year-old book blogger Emmie from “Fantastic Books and Where to Find Them

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“Every night I was so excited to go back to the book because I wanted to read more…I really hope there are more books in the series.” —11-year-old son of Goodreads reviewer SK

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Well-written and action-packed, this book is an excellent selection for middle grade readers who enjoy historical fantasy…This book is an excellent transition from the Magic Treehouse series to Percy Jackson, and is especially interesting to readers who enjoy learning a bit of history through the lens of an engaging story….This is a high caliber addition to libraries for middle grade readers.” —Mary Lanni, librarian and writer for School Library Journal. Full review here. Or just watch this awesome video!

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“This book will be a fantastic addition to elementary school libraries, I can’t wait to hand it to a kid to read!” —Erin B., Elementary Librarian

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“The themes in this book include family relationships, friendship, and perseverance. The characters of this book are very realistic, and the pacing is amazing, making the story flow well with no boring or confusing parts. I give this book 5/5 stars as it’s an engaging and delightful read. 😊
I can’t recommend this book enough. I can hardly wait to read the next book in this series, ‘Sol Invictus.'” —Ayan, young book reviewer at Books Are Gems. Read the full review here.

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“The Eye of Ra is an exciting time-travel adventure full of rich, carefully-researched details and conflict that will keep middle grade readers turning the pages.” —Celesta Rimington, author of The Elephant’s Girl

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“Perfect middle grade action fun!” —Carmen S., Library Media Specialist

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“I enjoyed this book quite a bit. It had lots of action…the characters were well-developed and approachable…readers will want to follow this story to the end!” —Page McBrier, New York Times bestselling author

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“I read this story in one sitting (& late into the night) & completely fell in love with Ben Gartner’s writing. I loved the strong female characters in the story, especially because the sisters often took charge of their brothers! The plot was your typical time travel MG adventure but felt unique & fresh, with the chosen era & twist at the end. I also really appreciated the good family bonds in the story, as a lot of MG (& YA) stories either don’t include parents at all or make them careless – there was lots of love & support in this story, which was lovely. This was a brilliant debut & I can’t wait for more from Ben (& his children)!” —Lucy-May book blogger Writing With Wolves

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“Gartner’s middle grade time-travel adventure is a rollicking ride . . . [this] well-researched novel is suffused with atmospheric detail . . . [and] a relaxed, playful sense of humor . . . this adventure novel hits the sweet spot. ” —BookLife Reviews by Publishers Weekly

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I couldn’t put this down! It was so entertaining every step of the way and I read it all the way through the night. I really enjoyed the characters and am crossing my fingers that there is more soon.” — Saraphim

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“This is definitely a fast paced, adventurous read that will be perfect for the MG age group.” — Becky’s Book Blog

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The Eye of Ra is an exciting story with excellent character development and a strong narrative arc. A well-paced adventure novel that will keep middle grade readers turning the pages.” —New York Times published writer Jamison Hill, author of When Force Meets Fate

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The Eye of Ra was a home-run. A great book to gift to the adventurous kid in your life, or a perfect family or school read-aloud. Highly recommend.” —Fleur Bradley, author of Midnight at the Barclay Hotel

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“I LOVE this! A fun adventure story . . . exciting . . . hilarious . . . The plot pacing was great, especially for a middle grades novel. I work with 3rd-5th graders, and I think this book would do an excellent job of holding their attention. Such a great ending!” —Megan S.

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“This middle-grade novel is highly engaging with a fast-paced plot while the mystery unfolds. Unique historical elements create interest in the different culture from long ago and garner similarities that kids can relate to or learn from. Parts of adventure, friendship, and empathy complete the novel with a unique surprise at the end. This is definitely a book I would recommend. Enjoy!” —Scarlett Readz & Runz book blog

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“Skillfully written, clever, suspenseful, flowed effortlessly, had a hard time putting it down.” —Jim C.

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Perfect MG book for your classroom/library!” —Rebecca R., teacher grades 4/5

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“The Eye of Ra is a delightfully quick and smart magical tour of ancient Egypt, giving middle grade readers an educational survey from the perspective of a modern kid without ever feeling like a lecture. I loved the way this book got its information across. Thank you to the author for letting me have a look!” —Jason Henderson, author of Young Captain Nemo

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“This is exactly the type of adventure story that kids go for, the setting is fantastic. It is obvious that you are experienced in writing adventure tales. And you manage to hit the beats, the plot all keeps rolling along at a good clip and you don’t get tied down or let anything slow the forward momentum.” —Fay C.

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“Well done . . . great atmosphere packed into this book . . . Fits right in with what good middle grade is all about. The pacing was fast, which is a great way of captivating the reader and I liked the ending a lot.” —Bethany V.

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Interesting and exciting. You really captured the essence of a middle grade story. It had over the top action and suspense that really capture the imagination of someone this age. You did a great job taking our main characters, especially John, and changing him for the better over the course of the story. I thought this was an incredibly fun story and one I would’ve absolutely devoured as a kid.” —Juliette T.

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“The characters are authentic, you pass on their struggles and emotions well. ” —Klaudia K.

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“A heartwarming and fun action adventure novel for the whole family. Full of interesting historical tidbits and fun mishaps, The Eye of Ra keeps the pages turning. An excellent read! ” —Kerelyn Smith, author of Mulrox and the Malcognitos

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“Excellent. You’ve hooked me. Excellent build-up of tension and suspense. The plot is captivating. I love how everything feels high stakes from start to finish (as in, I felt something matters and I felt endeared to your characters).” —Stu M.

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“The Eye of Ra is an easy and enjoyable read. I enjoyed learning about Ancient Egypt in a way that never felt forced or didactic. I also enjoyed all the close encounters with the scary inhabitants. You have some great moments of conflict and drama in your story. I enjoyed your use of evocative description.” —Amanda S.

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“Fun adventure for readers who love and have outgrown the Magic Tree House series. Just when you think the excitement is about to be over, there’s more! A great read.” —Carolyn Armstrong, author of Because of Khalid

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“This book would be a top choice for the students in my class. They’d eat up the adventure! Your tense scenes are so well-written. I didn’t see the twist in the plot coming. What a great surprise!” —Elaina B.

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“Gartner creates characters that are a blast to accompany as they embark on their accidental time-travel trip to ancient Egypt. Siblings John and Sarah are fun and engaging characters, and their sibling dynamic is authentic and a highlight of the series. Once in Egypt, they meet Zachariah, a boy about their own age, whose father is an architect of the pyramids. “Zack” brings John and Sarah back to his home. The siblings are allowed to stay with Zach’s family and even assigned pyramid construction duties– and then the adventure kicks into full gear.

The ancient Egyptian setting is so vivid and full of fantastic imagery, like the scent of baking sand and the deep, inner tunnels of the pyramids. Gartner includes many of the fascinating things you’d want in a story set in ancient Egypt, and he cleverly sprinkles in factoids about hieroglyphics, ancient gods, and customs. Kids reading this book will learn a lot about ancient Egypt–and may not even realize they’re doing it! I highly recommend this book, as well as the next book in Gartner’s series, SOL INVICTUS.” —Rina Heisel, author of Journey Beyond the Burrow

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“A portal adventure romp that will appeal to young lovers of history and ancient Egypt…I was a big fan of the Magic Treehouse series and this did feel reminiscent of the way that series explored history, making it great for young history lovers.” —Reedsy Discovery

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“The Eye of Ra is adventure, suspense, history lesson and cultural exchange all rolled into one fine read! Middle schoolers will identify with your characters and be captivated by your fast paced story. I loved it!” —Louise C.

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The Eye of Ra was such a thrilling book to read! In this historical fiction fantasy, John and his older sister Sarah accidentally time travel to Ancient Egypt when the Pyramid of Djoser is being built and what ensues is a wonderful and exciting adventure to find their way back home. The friendships in this book are a delight to read, namely between Zach, Rich, and Ella. I love how Gartner explored the sibling relationship between John and Sarah – it was sweet, authentic, and wonderfully relatable! After all, aren’t most siblings opposites in personalities? This is a great book not only for middle graders but also for adults who enjoy the genre since there is so much to learn from the descriptions of Ancient Egypt, the food they eat there, their way of life, the techniques used to build the pyramid. I loved the humor, the camaraderie between the characters, the struggle and eventual acceptance of the realities of moving cities that two of the characters have to cope with. I also loved the way Gartner handled the ending. I was wondering how he would tackle the effects of people portaling through time and I have to say I was impressed! This book was an absolute delight to read!” —Payal Doshi, author of Rea and the Blood of the Nectar

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“It was a great read for the age group, but I think many adults could use the life lessons from this book too. I swear, I could barely put it down.” —Bob S.

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