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Thursday, December 16, 2021

TCBR AWARENESS TOUR: Boy Between Worlds: The Novice Collector by Cynthia C. Huijgens - GUEST POST + GIVEAWAY!

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're shining the BOOK SPOTLIGHT on a title currently on tour with The Children's Book Review as we host a special GUEST POST and give you a CHANCE TO WIN!  Sound good?  I thought it might.  So, let's take a peek between the pages of today's featured title, then learn a little more from the author herself about why the particular setting for the book was chosen.  Ladies and gents, explorers of all ages, please set your sights on today's title in the spotlight...

Cynthia C. Huijgens
Idle Time Press

About the book...
On his thirteenth birthday, Max Mead wakes up battered and bruised in the villa of his grandfather, a famous antiquities expert, in Cairo. He has a hard time remembering how he got there, but slowly details of his quest to locate his missing grandfather begin to emerge. But the Lieutenant, leader of a ruthless antiquities trafficking gang, has left Max with more than a few nasty bruises.



~~~   GUEST POST with Author Cynthia C. Huijgens   ~~~
Egypt As the Setting for a Kids' Novel

I grew up in Southern California. The first time Egypt came onto my radar was when King Tutankhamun’s golden funerary mask began its tour of the United States in the winter of 1976. I was nineteen years old at the time, the same age King Tut was when he died. I didn’t see King Tut’s mask then (it didn’t come to the nearby Los Angeles County Museum of Art until 1978), but the advertising billboards and TV commercials made the mask an object of unparalleled beauty, mystery, and magic. 

Fast forward several years. When I came to live in Egypt just after the revolution of 25 January 2011, I found myself swept up in that ancient magic all over again, only this time, I was completely surrounded by it. There were no tourists for obvious reasons, but when it was safe, I toured the ancient sights. It was my Indiana Jones moment. There was no one between me and the ancient ruins and I felt an instant connection to every mummy, hieroglyph, and piece of faience I saw. I travelled by boat to Luxor and Aswan, visited the Abu Simbel Temples and tombs of pharaohs buried deep within the Valley of the Kings. I visited the grand temple of Hatshepsut, and Karnak, dedicated to the ancient Egyptian gods Amun, Mut, and Khonsu, and stepped inside one of the spectacular pyramids of Giza. I took Arabic lessons, progressing enough to read road signs and newspapers and make casual conversation with my Egyptian neighbors. I found myself completely pulled into Egyptian culture, and when I returned to Southern California every year to visit family, I was surrounded by curious people, young and old, who asked a lot of questions about Egypt. Setting my story in Egypt seemed like the best way to honour the Egyptian people who had shown me incredible kindness, unparalleled beauty, mystery, and yes, magic. And it seemed a great way to share all that I had seen and learned with people who might never get a chance to experience Egypt for themselves.

There have been loads of books set in Egypt for all the reasons I have just mentioned. And kids love them, perhaps now more than ever with covid making travel more difficult. The topic of Ancient Egypt has fascinated generations with its pharaohs, buried tombs filled with treasure, tales of magical curses, mythical gods, and the afterlife. Many of those books focus on Egyptian gods and heroic quests and yes, ancient Egyptian magic. But when I set out to write my novel, I fell back on my museum education background to tell a story about Egypt that is, perhaps, a little different. My story is built around objects. Many ancient languages have not survived, but objects, surprisingly, have. These objects provide insight into past civilizations and in my story, objects have ears and eyes, and they’re good at telling stories!

The best part of studying art and later working as a museum educator was spending thousands of hours in art and history museums. Museums are places to engage with energy and ideas from the past and launching pads to imagining different possibilities for the future. Something happens when a child explores an object, you can see it in their face. A spark is ignited as a connection to different times and places magically opens up. With Boy Between Worlds: The Cabinet of Curiosities, and Boy Between Worlds Book Two: The Novice Collector, I set out to write a story that dwells in that world of imagination and encourages young readers to explore the outer limits of their curiosity while gaining an appreciation for different people, places, and cultures of the world.


About the author...

Cynthia C. Huijgens writes for children of all ages, including children’s picture books. She holds a BA in Art and Design, Masters in Education, and is a certified K-12 Art Teacher. Cynthia graduated from Simon Fraser University’s The Writer’s Studio.

For more information, visit


Enter for a chance to win a Boy Between Worlds prize pack!

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

An autographed copy of Boy Between Worlds: The Novice Collector
Two (2) 100% pashminas purchased from a vendor in the Khan el Kahlili, Cairo
A custom bookmark
An Idle Time Press t-shirt

Three (3) winners receive:

An autographed copy of Boy Between Worlds: The Novice Collector


Special thanks to Bianca at The Children's Book Review for the chance to bring this tour to you and to the author for the special guest post. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, the publisher, this tour, or those on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above. Be sure to check out the rest of the stops on the tour for more bookish fun!

Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!

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