Publication Date: May 14, 2024
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Ages 8 to 12, Grades 3 to 7
A school election. A mysterious mailbox. And a letter from . . . Cleopatra?
Middle school is so weird. That’s the thought running through Nina Warren-West’s head in her first weeks at Ada Lovelace Middle School. Little does she know, it’s about to get even weirder.
Nina’s best friend Maya has her heart set on being elected class representative. The trouble is, she’s running against the super popular Kai Nakamura. Together, the girls come up with a plan to expose Kai’s less than honorable intentions. But things go wrong—like seriously wrong. Let’s just say it involves a malfunctioning robot and a deck of tarot cards. As a result, Nina is given her first ever detention. There, she has an assignment: write a letter to a woman from history. Dear Cleopatra, Nina starts. She scribbles and scribbles and soon detention is over.
On a long-cut home, Nina and Maya stumble upon a battered old mailbox in the woods. The girls drop Nina’s letter into it, hoping that’s the end of this terrible day. Turns out, it’s only the beginning. Because the next day, when Nina checks the mail, she finds something mysterious, magical, and totally impossible: a giant scroll adorned with hieroglyphics and a single signature at the bottom: Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator.
As the girls scramble to put Cleopatra’s strategy for winning their school election into action, a mystery unfolds: Did this letter really come from the past? If so, how? There’s only one way to find out. But who should they write to next?
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