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The Scorpions of Zahir

3.25  ·  Rating Details  ·  69 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Zagora Pym has always wanted to be a desert explorer. Her father, Charlie Pym, is exactly that, and she's always loved to look over his maps of far away exotic places. One day she'd be trekking through the deserts of Africa and China, discovering hidden treasures from lost tribes. But Zagora would never have guessed that her chance to prove herself would come so soon. Like ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published July 10th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 954)
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May 24, 2012 Lyuba rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley, arc
When I read the synopsis of The Scorpions of Zahir, I was pretty excited to read it. I mean, give me an Arabian story any day and I will be all over it. Unfortunately, this book was as hard to read as it was hard to put down. I blame it on the ARC, but because this is the only version I have to go by, here are my thoughts.

My main gripe with the book were the missing journal entries, and because of that I felt semi-lost any time the journal was mentioned. Also, the conversations felt unfinished,
Nov 06, 2012 Alya rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Sigh... an adventure story with a spunky girl with a touch of the fantastic in Morocco, seemed like it had promise.
Unfortunately it suffered from the old phrase that one must "show, not tell". Everything was explicitly spelled out, not allowing or investing any trust and emotion on the reader's part. Plus, it felt overly quickly paced, the characters fairly one dimensional, and just... there was no oomph. Furthermore, for someone who creates a secondary character with such an investment in scien
Mar 14, 2015 Cathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Liked this a lot. Picked it up at the library for my 10 year old son, who was not convinced from the cover he would like it, so I read it first. Slow first half that meanders and plods along; exciting, adventure-packed second half that mixes history, adventure, fantasy, and a touch of science fiction that I couldn't put down. A few nice things about brother and sister coming to appreciate each other; otherwise it's a simple main character becomes the designated hero story, but with a 11 year old ...more
I really love the cover with its vibrant blue/green and the idea of archaeology in Morocco, the primary setting for this book. I didn't know too much about its plot going in to the book and I was okay with that.

Once I started reading though I really struggled to connect with main character, eleven year old adventurer Zagora Pym who aspires to be an explorer just like her father is. I don't know exactly why because on the surface, she is pretty much the kind of character I like. She is spunky, cu
Ms. Yingling
Zagora’s father is an archaeologist who had a friend, Pitblade Yegen, who went missing when they were investigating a site but who has reappeared. Zagora, along with her father and “chubby computer geek brother Duncan take off to Marrakech to reunite with him. Zagora is thrilled because she has the journal of Yegen’s grandfather, and knows about the mystery of the Oryx stone, which her father has in his possession. Many other people want it, including Olivia Romanescu, who sent for them, and Min ...more
Estevan Gonzales
Mar 05, 2013 Estevan Gonzales rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received my copy of this novel through Good reads First Reads and was rather delighted with it. Zagora, the main character, is a young girl who is filled with imagination and longs for adventure. After discovering a journal in her father's study, a magical stone in the attic, and a letter from one of her father's long lost friends, the family engages on a magical adventure to the lost city of Zahir. Once a gorgeous and booming metropolis, Zahir has been buried under the sands of the Sahara and ...more
Cindy III
Received through First Reads.

I was drawn to Scorpions of Zahir because it is about adventure set in Morocco. There was adventure, but also a bit of fantasy elements, friendship and family. Zagora is the main character. She was kind, brave and outgoing. Her dad was okay. He was definitely a parent, but I also felt a detachment. Duncan, Zagora's brother was my favorite. He is more of a homebody, an intellectual. He starts his travel to Morocco not really wanting to be there and changes as stuff ha
Jul 16, 2012 Tracy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a hard time with this book. For some reason this book was hard for me to really get into. Zagora is the kind of character that I would normally really like, she is adventurous, intelligent and spunky. But I just didn't connect with her in this book, though I did like the characters of her father and brother. The inconsistency with mythology, a fairy new interest interest of mine, added to other improbabilities in this book detracted from my enjoyment of the book too. But for a younger read ...more
May 07, 2014 Jasmine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this book from a giveaway! Very interesting book for middle-grade kids. The main character is relatable and fun. I love the cultural aspect of the setting. Would recommend!
Lena Kilburn
Feb 21, 2013 Lena Kilburn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An engaging story about a twelve year old girl who, along with her archaeologist father and younger brother, travels to Morocco on an fantastical adventure. The story is fast paced and exciting with lots of enticing and mysterious characters. The highlight for me was the vivid imagery--descriptions of the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of Morocco, which I think would ignite many young imaginations. The plot is a bit convoluted and complex and character development could have been stronger, b ...more
This is a book I would have loved in middle school. Maybe not as much as Theodosia, but still would have loved it. As an adult, I was less attracted to it. I thought Morocco was a bit romanticized. I had a hard time believing the kids wandering the desert by themselves. The writing style was also a bit plain. Upon reflection, though, I think that not only would I have loved it in middle school it would also have met me where I was. I was not a strong reader. I wasn't much of a reader at all and ...more
I am about half way through this book and am not sure if I'm planning on finishing it. Although this book received good reviews from School Library Journal, Booklist and Kirkus, I found this book lacking.

The plot seems to drag on and I keep waiting for the action and adventure to begin. Based on the description and reviews, I was expecting the story to be a fast paced Indian Jones type of adventure for young kids. I am not sure if the kids will hand in their long enough to finish this.
I may pi
Dianna Damir
What an odd book. I think the premise is interesting but the Nar Azrak stuff took me out of the story instead of drawing me in.
Shanshad Whelan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sara Diane
Jan 08, 2013 Sara Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, 2013, reviewed
This children's tale of a young girl, Zagora, who travels with her dad and brother to Morocco is fun and full of adventure. A good story for those kids who need a journey while learning about friendship, trust, and courage, not to mention how to be a good daughter and sister. While there were a few moments of eye-rolling due to stretches of the imagination and attitudes towards travel (that as an adult I'm aware of, but young readers would never notice) I really enjoyed this one.
Jul 31, 2012 Julie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found myself wanting to know ' what happens next', which was a nice surprise. The primary characters are too simple, but then I'm not a young girl anymore. I imagine my 6 yo would enjoy listening to this story.
I won this book on goodreads. Thank you for the opportunity to read your work.
I'll be donating this book to the local veterans home, after I share it with my little girl.
Jan 15, 2013 Alex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun story of an 11 year old girl and her adventures in the deserts of Morocco. There is a bit of the mystical world and quite a bit of danger (giant scorpions) which kept things moving. My favorite thing is the name of a fellow adventurer- Pitblade Yegen.
Dec 02, 2012 Tisha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, adventure
Probably a good recommendation for 4th grade girls needing a strong-girl-character book. The plot is okay, but is not developed as fully as older kids would demand.
Charlane Lucardie
Oct 14, 2012 Charlane Lucardie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this is a really fun kid's book, full of twists and turns. very well written with good character development
May 12, 2015 L rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the Mummy in book form. Minus the creepy bugs that crawl under your skin.
reviewing for Booklist
Mar 29, 2013 PWRL marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-new
Jacque rated it liked it
May 16, 2016
Tatheer marked it as to-read
May 15, 2016
Doreen marked it as to-read
Apr 17, 2016
Hana marked it as to-read
Apr 17, 2016
Brianna Scott
Brianna Scott rated it it was amazing
Apr 15, 2016
Alayna added it
Apr 12, 2016
Shawn Shores
Shawn Shores rated it liked it
Mar 24, 2016
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I've always been drawn to the mysterious “other worlds” we inhabit as children: the invisible secret worlds that adults never seem to notice. Much of my childhood was spent immersed in books (the library was just around the corner) and I wrote my first story at age seven about a girl and a dragon.

Branches of trees were the best places to read books. My favorites were fairy tales, fantasy and scien
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