LUNCHTIME GALLERY TALK: Artifacts Meet Fantasy – Writing Ancient Egypt into Middle Grade Fiction
After earning her Ph.D. from the Oriental Institute, Malayna Evans used her education in ancient Egyptian history to craft a middle grade, time-travel series. Book one, Jagger Jones and the Mummy’s Ankh, released earlier this year, features a South Side Chicago, brother-sister duo teaming up with some historically attested Amarna Period characters. Malayna will discuss how, and why, she put artifacts, including many housed at the museum, at the center of her storytelling. From magical amulets to shabti to canopic jars, Malayna turned to objects from the past in order to move the plot, and characters, forward, framing them in ways that would appeal to today’s middle school aged kids while educating them about the mysteries of the past.