TROUBLE IN TIMBUKTU by Cristina Kessler

TROUBLE IN TIMBUKTU

Age Range: 12 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

Precocious twins, Saharan sandstorms and black-market antiquities are par for the course in this middling adventure story set in Timbuktu, but Kessler somehow breathes new life into recycled themes in this Clive Cussler–esque thriller for teens. When Ahmed and Ayisha are hired as guides for an obnoxious American couple, they hardly expect to abet the acquisition of ancient manuscripts. Vowing to preserve their heritage at all costs, the twins set off on a reckless journey that leads to near-dehydration in the desert, the unearthing of family secrets and, finally, the wrath of their worried parents. The author manages to infuse stock characters—e.g. Auntie B, the outcast relative whose guidance leads to triumph and truth—with an unexpected humanity, and her descriptions of rural Saharan life are to be relished. More irksome than the banal plot, however, are the constant attempts to create African colloquialisms: Readers may grow tired of them “faster than dust during a harmattan storm” and find themselves “hungry as a camel four days into the desert” for a reprieve. (Fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-399-24451-3
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2009




MORE BY CRISTINA KESSLER

ChildrenTHE BEST BEEKEEPER OF LALIBELA by Cristina Kessler
by Cristina Kessler
ChildrenJUBELA by Cristina Kessler
by Cristina Kessler
ChildrenMY GREAT GRANDMOTHER’S GOURD by Cristina Kessler
by Cristina Kessler

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenOUTLAW by Stephen Davies
by Stephen Davies