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The Vandemark Mummy

The Vandemark Mummy

2.7 8
by Cynthia Voigt, Suzanne Duranceau (Illustrator)

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"Pleasingly well written...Graced with a sound plot, a scary climax,and, above all, perceptive characterizations...A fine interweaving of fun and substance."
Althea and Phineas Hall are spending a boring summer with their father until a rich old man donates the mysterious Vandemark mummmy and other antiquities to the college where their


"Pleasingly well written...Graced with a sound plot, a scary climax,and, above all, perceptive characterizations...A fine interweaving of fun and substance."
Althea and Phineas Hall are spending a boring summer with their father until a rich old man donates the mysterious Vandemark mummmy and other antiquities to the college where their father is a professor, with instructions that only he is to care for them. When something happens in the room where the valuables are kept, Phineas and Althea sense that there is danger in the air and that one wrong move could turn a summer mystery into murder....

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A collection of Egyptian antiquities draws a 12-year-old boy and his sister into an intricately plotted web of burglary, kidnapping and attempted murder. Ages 10-up. (Oct.)
Children's Literature
Newberry Award-winner Voigt (Dicey's Song, 1983) has given us another adventure. The plot is well-constructed and the characters are real people with hopes, fears, talents and beliefs. Phineas and Althea Hall have come with their father Sam to Portland, Maine, where Vandemark College has a new exhibit of Egyptian antiquities. Their mother has moved to Portland, Oregon—a move connected with her job—a move that she "couldn't refuse." Neither of the kids is sure that the separation isn't permanent, so their feelings of uncertainty often surface in their behavior. Sam has been hired to curate this exhibit, and the first thing he'll do is uncrate and set up the artifacts. The kids help him as various college board members and faculty members drift in to see what is going on. Eventually they come to the showpiece of the collection, which is the mummy of a girl. In addition to linen wrappings at the head, there is a portrait. Phineas's reaction is the most relevant to the story. "He almost felt like crying himself, looking at the girl's face in the portrait...her sad brown eyes that looked right at him...He wondered...how her eyes could look so sad even while her mouth looked like it was about to laugh." Althea wonders why the mummy's feet are wrapped in linen strips that have Greek writing on them. After press reports about the mummy, it turns up missing. Things begin to move a lot faster, when suddenly Sam and Phineas have much more to worry about. Althea is missing. Who took the mummy? Who took Althea? A disappointingly slow start, but when the pace picks up there's plenty of action. 2001 (orig. 1991), Aladdin, $4.99. Ages 11 to 14. Reviewer: Judy Silverman
School Library Journal
Gr 6-10-- Newly arrived in Portland, Maine, Phineas Hall, 12, and his sister Althea, almost 15, live with their father, a classics professor, while their mother pursues her own career in Portland, Oregon. Phineas concentrates on being a child, enjoying his summer, while Althea buries herself in the study of ancient Greek. The focus of their concerns shifts abruptly when a small collection of Egyptian antiquities, including a mummy, is donated to Vandemark College, and Professor Hall is chosen as curator. The collection is first threatened, and then the mummy is vandalized. It is Althea who figures out the culprit's identity; in confronting him, she risks her life and is saved only through the persistence and bravery of Phineas, who conducts a nocturnal search of the labyrinthine library basement. Pleasingly well written, this contemporary mystery is graced with a sound plot, a scary climax, and, above all, perceptive characterizations. The tone is light, deftly counterbalancing the thoughtful presentation of difficult issues concerning feminism and family. In all, it's a fine interweaving of fun and substance. --Cynthia Bishop, Onondaga County Pub . Lib . , Syracuse, NY

Product Details

Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.18(w) x 7.68(h) x 0.69(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Known for her powerful young adult realistic fiction, Cynthia Voigt won the Newbery Medal for Dicey’s Song, the second book in the acclaimed Tillerman series. Many of the books in the seven-part Tillerman series have garnered awards, including Homecoming, A Solitary Blue, and The Runner. She is also the author of the Kingdom series, The Bad Girls series, and many other stand-alone books.

Customer Reviews

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Vandemark Mummy 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Once I opened this book I could not put it down. It is an excellent mystery. Phineas and Athea's father becomes a curator of a collection of Egyptian antiquities. The mummy is stolen and a whispered phone call tells Athea and Phineas where the mummy is. After finding the mummy Athea is kid-napped. Can Phineas find his sister in time??? You'll have to read and find out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I started to read this book I could never put it down. The suspense kept building. When Althea (15) and Phineas (12) move to Maine for their fathers job a rich oil man sends an ancient egyptian collection which includes a mysterious mummy. This mummy is now making the Halls summer more hectic with their father being the curator of the Egyptian collection. A man tries to break into the room where the collection is located, but the alarms go off and he is caught. This stirs uo the suspense of the book! When Althea goes to figure out what is going on she dissapears. Phineas goes looking for her in the library. This book gets even more suspensful afterwards so you should get thi book and start reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
My opinion of the book was that the book was well written and an interesting book. The characters were well descripted and the plot was very suspensful. As the you will get later on into the story you won't be able to put the book down becuase the suspense becomes so great and you begin to guess which one of the charcters is involved in the mystery. The book becomes great and very interesting around the middle of the book as it begins to build towards the climax and by that time you will just keep reading the book and never stop until you finish. If you like mystery and suspense then to read this book is a no brainer and I would also strongly recommend this book to anyone else who just likes to read. The book is mainly about two children, Phineas and Althea Hall, who move to Maine during the summer and their mother lives all the way across the country. Phineas and Althea act as detectives when something mysterious happens to a very valuable possession of theirs. They are determined to find out what exactly happened and who did the crime when one of them becomes misssing. If you want to find out what happens in the end you are just going to have to read the book yourself to find out. Phineas Hall changes somewhat during the book. At first he was just an easy going kid not doing much on his summer vacation. However when a collection on mummies comes into his father's college, Phineas's summer vacation becomes much more interesting. When something happens to the mummy of theirs Phineas changes into a detective that is determined to find out what precisely happened. Phineas also matures somewhat through the book as he is no longer just a kid when the crime happens, but more of an adult searching for the person that committed the crime. The book has outstanding character description and unprecedented suspense and I strongly reccomend this book to anyone out there who just wants to read a good book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
just like most people i agree that this book was boring. for my essay i barely fished it because of lack of enjoyment. this plot was really good, but it took awhile to get to the point. the paragraph in the back explained an exciteing adventure of sister and brother. However when i read the book it was nothing like what i though it would be like. there were many genres but when mixed together is made no excitment. The best part was the last word
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was awful. I feel asleep everynight trying to read this. I started reading it for a book report, but i HATED it by the end. I would not read this
Guest More than 1 year ago
Yes, I have read the other reviews, and strongly disagree with them. I am a very seasoned reader. I read this book for a school assignment with high expectations and was very, very disappointed. The whole book was very obvious. I solved the mystery as soon as I clapped eyes on some of the clues in the very beginning of the book, which made the rest of the book very pointless.... Two thumbs way, way down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really appreciated this book, I really did. It was a great plot that kept me interested.........for a while. It was such a great story, but since there was sooo much detail, it really dragged on, and on, and on. Instead of glad that themystery was solved, I was more glad that the book was over. All in all, it was a great book but ruined by "detail overload".