The Series: Horace j. Edwards and the Time Keepers
Horace j. Edwards and the Time Keepers traces Horace’s adventures through all of 6th grade, each book set in a new season, a new time in history, and a new city that needs to be saved. The series touches on the deeply human themes of loss, friendship, and renewal. It is a reminder that the things we have discarded in our lives – buildings, cities, ideas, and even people – are sometimes the most valuable.
Book One: The Secret of the Scarab Beetle
Horace Edwards is an ordinary boy who’s just moved to Niles, Michigan. That is, until the start of 6th grade when he not only learns of the mysterious death of his grandfather, but also becomes the recipient of a strange inheritance. In his efforts to uncover the truth about his grandfather’s death and the secrets of his new inheritance, Horace finds himself transported back in time to the Ancient Egyptian city of Amarna. There he meets the future pharaoh, King Tut, and together these two boys become engaged in a dramatic fight to save the city from total destruction. In the process Horace discovers that he is the heir to an order of guardians, known as the Time Keepers. With help from two friends and a bully, Horace and Tut attempt to save the ancient city, stop the sale of Horace’s family farm, and protect a secret that lies at the very heart of Egypt’s existence, the magical power of the Benben Stone. However, their task won’t be easy. Tut’s uncle Smenk, is trying to erase the memory of Tut’s father from the pages of history and Tut with him. There is only one small problem with Smenk’s plan; he needs Horace’s magical scarab beetle to do it.
Book Two: The Search for the Lost Prophecy
In The Search for the Lost Prophecy, the sequel to The Secret of the Scarab Beetle, Horace continues to search for more information about the Time Keepers and his role in this secret order. After he discovers that the tree portal at his grandparents' farm is destroyed, Horace, along with his friends Anna and Milton, travels back in time to 1920s Detroit, hoping to learn more. There they meet keeper Herman at the Scarab Club and learn that someone is threatening the Time Keepers and the order's mission. Horace finds out that the mystical Benben Stone is being stored in a crypt back in present-day Niles, Michigan. And Horace is now tasked with keeping the sacred stone safe. Will the person or persons threatening the Order learn of Horace's true identity?
A Note to Readers
So much of the inspiration for this story is based on historical facts. The characters, the places, the names, and even many of the objects are real. I’ve always been drawn to the mysteries of history and, surprisingly, both Egypt and Michigan are full of them.
Horace’s name (which is also the name I gave my favorite stuffed animal as a kid) is connected to an Egyptian god and a famous resident in Niles, Michigan. Niles is a real town in the southwest of the state. It has a fascinating past dating to the early frontier first settled by the French. In the nineteenth century it was also an important stop on the Underground Railroad. An old museum called the Chapin House sits in the center of Niles, and houses many bizarre artifacts, including a two-headed sheep.
Although the Michigan Relics never made their way to Niles, they were a real and unexplained collection of objects found in the state in 1890.
The Egyptian artifacts and history mentioned in the story are real as well. The Benben Stone can be traced to the city of Heliopolis. The whereabouts of the stone remain a mystery, as does the location of Akhenaten’s burial site. Akhenaten and his city, Amarna, dramatically transformed three thousand years of Egyptian history before he died mysteriously, disappearing along with his city from the history books. The lost period of Amarna was only rediscovered in 1922, when Howard Carter stumbled upon King Tut’s sealed tomb in the Valley of the Kings. The discoveries inside opened a window onto a period of previously forgotten history. One of the discoveries, which left many Egyptologists bewildered by its beauty, was a blue scarab beetle.