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Egyptologist Transports Kids from Chicago to Ancient Egypt in Diverse Middle Grade Novel 

New Middle Grade Time Travel Novel, Jagger Jones & the Mummy’s Ankh, to be Released May 28, 2019

(CHICAGO, IL. 2019) On May 28, Oak Park author Malayna Evans and publisher Tantrum Books will release Jagger Jones & The Mummy’s Ankh, a debut middle grade novel. The story draws on the author’s Ph.D. in Egyptian History from University of Chicago and features diverse protagonists, inspired by her son, who told her, at nine-years-old, that he wanted to read a book featuring a biracial American kid like him visiting ancient Egypt.

In Jagger Jones & The Mummy’s Ankh, two South Side siblings are transported three thousand years back in time to ancient Egypt and sent on quest to save the royal family in order to get back home. The book combines magic and adventure with real historical people, places and artifacts. “I’m drawn to anything that pulls different cultures together and contrasts the human values we all share with the differences that make us unique,” Malayna said. “So, for example, in Jagger Jones and the Mummy’s Ankh, I’ve highlighted aspects of ancient life I knew would surprise modern kids, like boys wearing makeup and kids being bald, while also excavating how things we take for granted would shock people of the past. Jagger’s smartphone, and his little sister’s bubblegum, make quite an impression in ancient Egypt.”

The three book series was inspired by Malayna’s favorite ancient Egyptian blessing: ankh, wedja, seneb, which means (may you have) life, prosperity and health. The book explores modern and ancient notions of life (ankh). Books two and three, coming in 2020 and 2021, will similarly contrast modern and ancient ideas surrounding “prosperity” and “health.”

Early reviewers say “This debut mg Novel is a fun, exciting and tremendously well- researched ride” (Naomi Milliner, Goodreads) and “The details about Egyptian culture are fascinating and add authentic drama to the story” (Darlene, Goodreads).

Malayna is available for interviews—email to schedule at, or, visit her media kit at for author Q&A, downloadable images, and more info about Malayna and her work.


Malayna Evans

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