Aria and Liam

The Coded Papyrus

Children - Adventure
228 Pages
Reviewed on 02/02/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Courtnee Turner Hoyle for Readers' Favorite

Aria and Liam: The Coded Papyrus is a children's mystery adventure by Alizee Monsarrat. Aria and Liam attend a school in Sommetville. After Liam fails in his attempt to cheat off Aria, the friends are tasked with giving the class a full account of Ramesses II. The pair have a short time to gather information, but Aria becomes intrigued with a cat wandering around the school. They follow the animal through catacombs and travel back 3,000 years in time in the process. The friends meet Asim, an Egyptian boy who expected their arrival, and his donkey, Atlas. The boy shows them a special papyrus and tells them about his plan to save the empire. Aria and Liam agree to help him and they make a journey to Pi-Ramesses. On their way, they meet Menkh, a dignitary who promises to assist the children as they travel, but his intentions may not be pure.

This book will grab readers within the first few pages. The banter between Aria and Liam is comical, and it helps build a stronger profile of the characters. The story is told from an alternative perspective, but readers can learn more about Egyptian history and mythology as they turn the pages. Alizee Monsarrat has created the start of an epic series with glimpses into Egyptian society, including powerful riddles, and a heart-stopping adventure! The end of the story hints that Julius Caesar will be the next subject of the anticipated second novel in the series. Aria and Liam: The Coded Papyrus would be a perfect addition to a public or middle school library as well as an exciting selection on a pre-teen or young teen’s bookshelf.

Liz Konkel

Aria and Liam: The Coded Papyrus by Alizee Monsarrat follows two best friends as they embark on an epic adventure that takes them back in time to ancient Egypt. Aria is counting down the days until school ends and summer begins. She has so much to look forward to as her father promised to take her and her best friend Liam to see the sea. Aria takes on the challenge of teaching Liam everything she knows about Ramesses II and his life in Egypt. She never could have predicted that it would soon become her reality and all thanks to following a mysterious cat. The two friends are quickly swept into the past where they befriend a boy named Asim who takes them on a harrowing journey that involves epic voyages, sinister chases, dangerous riddles, and even murder. The three will have to work together if they hope to help Ramesses II in his plight to save Egypt.

The theme of the story is quickly established through Aria’s love of ancient Egypt which is her main source of excitement as she trudges through the mundane existence of school life. She’s counting every second until summer so she can have amazing adventures with Liam. Alizee Monsarrat foreshadows their epic adventure by immediately establishing the subject of ancient Egypt and Aria’s excitement about Ramesses II. The story quickly turns when they enter Egypt, becoming more suspenseful, action-packed, and humorous with a blend of history, mystery, and two friends having fun. The Egyptian setting creates the opportunity to teach history in a way that is exciting and fun through endearing characters that children will love. Their adventure includes elements such as murder, a magical labyrinth, mythology, and a mysterious coded papyrus.

The story centers around the friendship between Liam and Aria who are total opposites with her impulsive nature contrasting against his more serious need not to break the rules. They have a deep bond though they do have some clashes as Aria is always dragging him into crazy situations. The writing is delightful with details that will amuse children. The story also includes vocabulary that adds whimsy to the story as well as teaching middle-grade children a fun set of new words such as exuberant, ultimatum, quagmires, transcendent, nostalgic, gesticulating, meticulously, tyrannical, and cylindrical. The Coded Papyrus serves as a great resource to inspire children to love history through adventure, mystery, humor, and a delightful writing style.

Melanie Kennedy

Aria and Liam: The Coded Papyrus by Alizee Monsarrat is a light-hearted and amusing children’s story about fulfilling your destiny and overcoming any obstacles that may stand in your way. Aria and Liam both have wildly different personalities, but that’s what makes them such good friends. That’s also why Liam gets dragged into a predestined adventure to ancient Egypt with Aria when he only wanted to play soccer during their break. A mysterious cat leads Aria and Liam through time and space to Memphis, where they meet Asim, a young boy with a vital task – to get an important papyrus to pharaoh Ramesses II as soon as possible or risk the fall of the great Egyptian empire. With this mammoth task on their shoulders, Aria, Liam, and Asim brave the beauty and peril of ancient Egypt to seal its fate.

I utterly love ancient Egypt and thus I couldn’t wait to read Aria and Liam. Alizee Monsarrat has written a wonderful adventure that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike, as I surely did. Her knowledge of Egypt's history, mythology, and geography is spectacular and she’s combined them all into a magnificent novel filled with trials, feats of wisdom and bravery, and even the ancient equivalent of a car chase. This is a must-read for anyone interested in ancient Egypt and any parent looking for a delightful children’s adventure that will ignite and satisfy any child’s imagination.