Chapter 1 introduces the main character, Tee Woodie, a young girl who has just moved to a Southwestern town from her home in Maine after her parents inherited an antique shop from her late-Uncle Sebastian. She is watching a movie about a Princess named Maryam who is in love with a "djinn" or genie, and she clearly imagines being in this film. When it ends, she reluctantly goes outside, but runs into a door on the way out and falls face down on the floor. As she waits outside for her father to pick her up, the narrator reveals that she is unhappy in this town and with her parent's deciding to move there. From her point-of-view, all the antiques in the store are junk, and she is happy not to deal with it at all.
Figurative Language: Tee is watching the movie screen "in a trance," eating popcorn that she "fumbled into her mouth" (p. 1). When the film ended "the music swelled around her" and she stood up "with a Princess Maryam flick of her bushy ponytail" then "moved up the aisle with Maryam's gliding, graceful walk toward the real world" (p. 2). She tripped over the carpet on her way out and "her face burned scarlet with embarrassment" then as she went outside "the over-blast of heat left Tee breathless" (p. 4).
Inference: Given her clear dislike of this new town, Tee might very well try to escape in some way, as she is already attempting to do through movies, books and DVDs. She seems very lonely and isolated, with no real friends, and is also embarrassed at her own clumsiness and awkwardness. Tee also has a strong imagination and fantasy life, and the inference would be that this might lead her into some type of adventure.
Text Connection: In this opening chapter, the main connection I have is with Tee, not really in the sense that I like her very much. In fact, I don't think I liked her all that much initially, although I certainly could understand why she was unhappy in this situation. I wondered what type of major event was going to happen to her in the near future.
Conflict: Initially, Tee's major conflict appears to be with her parents and her unhappiness with their decision to move to this new town. She does not like it or their new business in the junk shop, and would obviously prefer to be somewhere else. Indeed, Tee seems to resent her parents and imagine that they care more about the store and other business problems instead of her.
Summary: Tee is looking through her great-uncle's books when the Shabti comes into the room. By now, it has taken over her life, and Tee is worried that it can even read her thoughts, and neither her parents nor her brother ever seem aware that the creature is not really her. She is trying to come up with a plan to get rid of it and somehow sent it back to Princess Tiye, but she will need Charles's help. At the end of the chapter, he also comes to believe that the Shabti is not really his sister.
Figurative Language: Tee has been "pretending with a capital P. To everyone for weeks" that the Shabti is her (p. 165). It started referring to her parents rather than "servants," and she "rubbed her eyes to cover her blink of surprise" (p. 166). Her plan was "still full of holes" and she also "made a face" at the thought of having to ask Charles for help (p. 167).
Inference: Charles is going to help his sister find a way to get rid of the Shabti. They do not get along well and he did not believe her when she said this creature was real, until he saw it for himself when they went outside to the school bus. Charles is more clever and imaginative than Tee, and his plan will probably be a good one.
Text Connection: In this chapter, I started to feel more sympathy for Tee. I know that she is in real trouble at this point and that it was no longer a game. This Shabti is going to take over her life and get rid or her unless she and Charles figure out how to send it back to Egypt.
Conflict: At this point, Tee's main conflict is no longer with her brother and parents. She is starting to get very worried about the power of the Shabti as it takes over her life completely. This creature is evil, and also very cunning and subtle in that it lured her into a trap by making it all seem like fun.
Summary: Tee and Charles continue working on a plan to send the Shabti back to Egypt, and she continues looking through all of her great uncle's books. Even so, she still does not know where Princess Tiye's tomb is. At this point, the Shabti is starting to feel hunger and thirst just like a human, and at the end of the chapter it decides to imprison her in the Egyptian box.
Figurative Language: Charles is working on a plan, and Tee "itched to know" what his ideas were (p. 173). She saw that the Shabti's "dark eyes glittered" now as it touched her and put her in the Egyptian box (p. 178). Her "mouth opened in surprise" when she finally realized that it had made her a prisoner.
Inference: Tee's life is probably in danger at this point. This Shabti has turned out to be some type of vampire or body snatcher and was just waiting for a chance to take her place. Indeed, this creature has turned out to be evil and manipulative, and Tee now realizes that none of it was ever a joke or a game.
Text Connection: I was interested in what will happen to Tee and how she will escape from this coffin. She has done a very foolish thing in treating this Shabti like it was a toy or a pet, and now it intends to get rid of her. She really should have known better, but know it is too late.
Conflict: By now, the most important conflict Tee has is with the Shabti. This makes her earlier conflicts with Charles and her parents look like a small problem, because her life is in danger now, and perhaps her soul. Perhaps she will be destroyed or simply kept in a box as a prisoner for a few thousand years.
Summary: Chapter 20 is the climax of the story and the resolution of Tee's problem, thanks to the help of her brother Charles. Both of them are very frightened by now, since the Shabti is becoming very powerful and no longer has any need to hide its true nature. They can hardly believe this is even happening, but Charles finally found a way to reverse the spell and keep the demon in its box. He has to deface and destroy some of the hieroglyphics on the Egyptian box, and then the Shabti will be imprisoned thee again. Once this has been done, they mail it back to Egypt.
Figurative Language: Tee realizes that "not even the worst nightmare" in her life had been this frightening (p. 179). Charles is terrified too, now that he knows the real nature of the Shabti, and he "felt the hairs on his arms and the ones on the back of his neck shiver up" (p. 180). This terrible situation had become so unbelievable that "he wondered whether he ought to pinch himself" (p. 182).
Inference: Tee has finally met a djinn or demon like she saw in the movies in Chapter 1, but it is…