Title: Curse of the Nomed
Created by: The Whizz Writers
Written by: B B Taylor
Illustrated by: Holly Bushnell
Published by: Weird ‘N’ Wonderful Publishing
The Curse of the Nomed, weaves the worries and insecurities children have when moving from primary to secondary school into an exciting adventure to defeat the ancient Egyptian God of Chaos, Sett. This book was created in partnership with pupils from the Four Dwellings Academy in Birmingham. It incorporates the real-life experiences of the pupils when they first started secondary school.
Main protagonists, Jacob, Eleanora and Stefan discover that the ancient god Sett has disguised himself as Mr Siriso, the headmaster, and has put all the pupils under a spell with the school scarab beetle badge on their uniform. Guided by Miss Ali the librarian (who they bought back to life) they have to find the Book of Life to save the students and ultimately prevent Sett from taking everyone’s soul to get revenge on his brother Osiris. The book is in the inner deepest vault of the House of Life and the journey is full of traps and curses.
We learn about the main character’s backgrounds and personalities through a series of flashbacks triggered by events in the plot. They give their top tips for moving schools which include:
- Talk to someone you trust about your feelings
- Find out about the extra clubs and activities you can be involved in at lunchtime and after school
- Be kind, ask questions and listen to others.
There is a lot going on in this short, easy to read novel. Not only does it have of theme of the transition from one school to another, it also touches on issues of loneliness, greed, jealousy, loss, unexpected kindness, friendship and courage. These issues and ideas could be a great discussion starter for a PSHE lesson before the children leave primary school in Year Six and during their first year of secondary school in Year Seven.
A contribution from the sale of this book goes to Partnership for Children a charity that runs school based programmes in Birmingham to encourage good mental health. In line with this worthy cause the end-pages contain inspiring quotes from award-winning authors Chris Callaghan, Gareth P Jones, Maz Evans, Tommy Donbavand, Jenifer Killick and Kathryn Evans.
My overall feeling is that The Curse of the Nomed is an ingenious enterprise that is pulled together by the dedication and cooperation of a great team of both adults and children. Holly Bushnell’s illustrations throughout the book help create atmosphere and tension. The book is neatly plotted with a great cliff-hanger ending that left me thinking there may be a sequel.