Amber is a smart kid. Especially for a 14 year old. Good thing she goes to an advanced school where she gets to take cool classes, like independent archeology. But when her favorite teacher up and disappears, Amber has a feeling this final exam will be unlike any other. And she's right.
Guardians of the Hidden Scepter (Cedar Fort, 2011) takes Amber and her classmates on a global quest to find their missing teacher. By using the tricks of the trade Dorothy Holcomb taught them, they are able to follow the clues she left behind -- and ultimately the mysterious artifact she is determined to protect.
Frank L. Cole leaves behind the wacky misadventures of his middle grade series, The Adventures of Hashbrown Winters, for a more cerebral take on a Biblical legend. This journey is filled with twists, turns, and brain teasers, taking its heroes around the globe, encountering unusual cultures and evil bad-guys at every turn.
Fans of Indiana Jones will eat this up, and readers who enjoy an elegantly crafted tale populated by wicked creatures guaranteed to raise some goosebumps won't be disappointed.
There are definitely some creepy, intense moments, and the complex mystery may be a little much for anyone under 10, but middle school readers will be all over it. With an ending that keeps pages turning well into the night (and the lights on until morning), Guardians of the Hidden Scepter proves Cole is ready to serve up some YA adventures that will have readers hungry for more.