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Set in the Egyptian desert just after World War I, McCracken and the Lost Oasis (book 7 in the McCracken series by Mark Adderley) offers enough mystery and adventure to intrigue any middle-school reader, along with rich historical detail and a generous helping of faith.

In McCracken and the Lost Oasis, set in 1919, the McCracken family is vacationing on the Nile just after World War I. A trip that was meant to be a visit with friends turns into a trek through an underwater tomb, capture by Bedouin tribesmen, and the chase of a pair of international jewel thieves through the Sahara Desert.

The McCracken series is what you'd get if you mixed up Catholicism, Indiana Jones, National Treasure, Jeopardy!, and MacGyver, making sure everything was age-appropriate. The characters in these books are smart in a "what will they think of next?" way, and author Mark Adderley recounts their conversations and various accents so well that the reader can almost hear each one speaking. And their methods of travel are nothing short of spectacular: Most of the time, the McCracken family and their associates get around by dirigible.

The author is careful to include just the right amount of back story so that readers new to the series won't get lost, while also inviting the reader to pick up other volumes in the 7-book series.

This is an excellent adventure series for your young readers (and you!) to binge on when they can't get out and pursue their own adventures.

Copyright 2020 Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS

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