The Blazing Star by Imani Josey

Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing (December 6, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1945769165

Portia’s twin sister Alex is a genius. There’s something about being 16 that makes you insecure, but always being in the background can really work on your nerves after a bit. When Portia has a bad reaction to an ancient artifact at school one day she becomes conspicuous in the worst way, by wigging out. The upside is that her crush rushes her to the nurse’s station. The downside is that he’s into her sister, not her. Things really couldn’t get worse, until they do. On a field trip to a museum Portia has a reaction to the scarab again, this time it transports her, her sister and an unexpected new friend back to different corners of ancient Egypt, and not only is she out of place, she’s got a new power too.

The true beauty of this book is in the richness of the setting. You’ll fall in love with Portia because you’ll relate to her. She isn’t the smartest or the prettiest, though she is those things, but she’s a normal girl who just wants to find a space where she shines and she’s special..until she finds out just how special she is. When Portia finds herself transported to ancient Egypt and in possession of a special gift for magic that she has to learn how to control she starts to long for the life she once had, a simpler life. It’s really an analog for all the fears and hopes we all have before going out into the world on our own.

Anyone who loves Rick Riordan’s work or even James Patterson will love the adventure and intrigue, and it doesn’t hurt that she’s a black girl soaking up all this fun. We don’t see enough of that.

This Book is Perfect for:

  • Anyone who loves adventure stories
  • People who like sibling rivalries and familial relationship stories
  • People who like Rick Riordan’s series

Discussion Questions:

  1. Is Portia really in her sister’s shadow or is it in her head?
  2. Portia suddenly feels braver after touching the scarab. Do you think it’s real or just in her head?
  3. The Egyptians are much more forgiving about covering their bodies. How do you think we’ll feel about nudity in 100-200 years?
  4. The book is written from Portia’s perspective. Try to speculate about what happens with Alex in her early time in Egypt.
  5. There are tons of references to the Kushite. Do you think they have the same relationship to skin color as we do in the year 2017? How is it the same or different?
  6. Write an epilogue. What happens after the book ends.

Soundtrack:

Listen to Michael Jackson’s Remember the Time!

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